Yoga for Menopause: Cool Down, Chill Out

Yoga for Menopause: Cool Down, Chill Out

for Hot Flashes, Irritability, & Anxiety Plus it’s Wrist Friendly

If everything bugs you, you’re hot, cranky, and just don’t wanna, it’s time to Cool Down & Chill Out with Yoga for Menopause. 
This no standing, gentle, cooling practice helps shut out outside stress.

When irritability, anxiety, hot flashes, and excess energy creep in, a cooling practice, like this one, is way more effective in soothing your symptoms than an active, heating yoga flow.  

Longer holds allow you to not only connect with your breath and feel more grounded but to SLOW DOWN. 
It’s so important to let the nervous system settle when we feel frazzled. 

👉 Even if you’re NOT menopausal but you’re feeling cranky, irritable and need a personal “time out”,
this practice is just what you need.


DETAILS:  
👉 Grab a Blanket or Large Towel and roll it up.
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.  
🖐 Wrist Friendly means little or no pressure on the wrists but gripping and grabbing are possible.


More about this practice:

 Crocodile Pose starts you off bringing you inward for reflection and to literally and figuratively shut out the outside stressors.  
There’s Heart opening for compassion for yourself and for others.
Gentle Hip openers because who doesn’t love a good hip opener?
Some Sitali pranayama to cool off our mouths, minds, and throats (in case some not-so-nice words came out recently).  
A super calming restorative pose…you’ll have to do the practice to find out what it is…
finished with savasana…ahhh, savasana.    

All in about 20 minutes. 


Affirmations in this video:

💚 My heart overflows with compassion and kindness for myself and others 💚
💚 I breathe in calmness and breathe out stress  💚
💚 I relax my body and breathe in calm energy  💚
💚 Right now, all is well in my world 💚
Repeat it until you believe it.


Enjoy! Be well.
 Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Want more Yoga for Menopause?  Menopause Playlist 

Yoga for Menopause

Yoga for Menopause

Focus on: Digestion & Pelvic Floor

Is your digestion on the fritz?

Menopause and Peri-menopause can cause your digestion to change due to fluctuating hormones. You may suffer from bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, painful abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, flatulence, and nausea.

Sounds fun, right? 😵‍💫
I hear you.

The good news:
Yoga can help “move things along” with your digestion by bringing energy and prana into the pelvic area; mainly the lower abdominals, the hips, and the pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor holds all of the pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel & bladder).
👉 If you’ve ever laughed really hard or sneezed and a little pee came out…that’s your pelvic floor’s fault.

In this practice,
we’ll do poses that strengthen and stretch the pelvic floor by working the hips and surrounding muscles.
Balances on one leg are included as they not only strengthen the core and hips, but also strengthen the joints.

Note: If balance is an issue for you, support yourself by either holding a wall or use a chair.

Keep in mind, Yoga is supportive during this personal adjustment.
It is not intended to cure or solve these issues but instead to provide some relief.

DETAILS:
👉 No props needed unless you want ‘em.
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.
⚡️If your balance isn’t great, practice near a wall or use a chair.


Affirmations in this practice:
💚 I let go and allow life to flow through me. 💚
Repeat it until you believe it.


  Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Got more time? Try this next: Yoga for Menopause at a Slower Pace

Squat Recovery Yoga – Stretch Out the Soreness

Squat Recovery Yoga – Stretch Out the Soreness

Inversion Free Options

Did you do too many squats?
Or try an online Cardio Leg video like I did and now you can hardly walk?

Yeah, I feel your pain.
Been there, done that. 😥🥴

This Squat Recovery Yoga Practice is designed to stretch out the soreness in the places that hurt after too many squats.
Inner thighs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, and of course, the quads.
Hip openers and leg stretches are priority with longer holds to allow the muscles to ease out of pain.

Here’s why that soreness, caused by lactic acid build up, rears it’s ugly self:

“A temporary buildup of lactic acid can be caused by vigorous exercise if your body doesn’t have enough available oxygen to break down glucose in the blood. This can cause a burning feeling in the muscle groups you’re using.” Source

With that said—this is why breathing is SO important when you workout; yoga or otherwise. 😉

Do this practice daily until you feel better.
Happy stretching!


DETAILS:

I’ll be performing this practice Inversion Free but you do you.
👉 No props needed, unless you want ‘em.
🌟 Good for Experienced Level.
💫 Minimal cues are given so you can focus on feeling the feels.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those with glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.


  Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Got more time? Try this next: Low Body Stretch

Vinyasa Yoga for Spinal Health

Vinyasa Yoga for Spinal Health

Wrist Friendly – Inversion Free Opt

This Wrist Friendly, Inversion Free Opt. Vinyasa Yoga Flow
connects the breath with the movement to find strength, flexibility, and mobility
to maximize the flow of spinal fluid for optimal cleansing.


Did you know our breath helps move the spinal fluid?

Yep,
an inhale delivers the flow of fluid that bathes the human brain for a good cleansing.
When you exhale, the waste that piles up in your brain is washed away creating better health.

Pretty cool, huh?

Fuller, more intentional breathing is what helps clear the toxins out.
Shallow, short breaths don’t do as much as far as cleansing goes.

“Deep breathing has a greater impact on the flow of brain fluid than short, shallow breathing”,

Vegard Vinje, a PhD candidate at the Simula Research Laboratory.
Source

In addition, moving our spines regularly gives us greater range of motion, better posture, a stronger core, AND lessens your chances of back pain.

Bonus!!

Now imagine how blissful combining the cleansing breath with the movement would be…

In this practice, you’ll get everything listed PLUS very intentional breath movement-coordination to assist in the cleansing process.
🌟 This is why yoga makes us feel pretty darn good. 🌟


Details:

I’ll be performing this practice Inversion Free but you do you.
👉 Props needed IF you’re wrist-free or Inversion Free.
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those with glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid re-flux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.
🖐 Wrist Friendly means little or no pressure on the wrists but gripping and grabbing are possible.


Enjoy! Be well. 
Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Want more yoga? Try this next: Decompression of the Spine — Wrist Free REMIX

Anytime Stretch in 10 min

Anytime Stretch in 10 min

Inversion Free Opt. & Wrist Friendly

Need to warm up or cool down?
Or maybe you need a refresh for your body to get your focus back…
Or maybe you’re just feeling like a gentle, self-love stretch session…

I hear ya!

I don’t know about you but my back and hamstrings are almost always in dire need of
some self-love stretching.
These simple but effective stretches incorporate these areas perfectly without too much effort
PLUS
10 minutes is a sweet spot for stretching;
It’s just enough time to provide a gentle opening.

🖐 Wrist Friendly ?? There are no poses where there’s a lot of weight on the wrists, however, there is gripping and grabbing. So if you have tender wrists or hands, be gentle with them.

✨ Inversion Free ?? If you are inversion free — make sure when we lie down, that you prop so your head is the highest point as I did not perform this practice that way.


DETAILS:

👉 No props needed, unless you want ‘em.
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those with glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.


Enjoy! Be well. 
Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Want more yoga? Try this next: No Hands Wrist Free Vinyasa Flow

Quickie Yoga Stretch in 3 min.

Quickie Yoga Stretch in 3 min.

Inversion Free, Wrist Friendly Yoga in your Chair

Do you find that sometimes you want to do a full practice but you only have a hot minute to yourself?

If only it was possible to do a quickie yoga practice and feel refreshed…

And if you’re at work, sometimes breaking into stretches can create awkwardness when your co-workers give you that what-is-going-on-over-there look 👀

I know exactly what that feels like….

And so this 3 min Quickie Yoga Stretch was born.

It’s Inversion Free, 
Wrist Friendly, 
all done in your chair, 
PLUS it targets the whole body. 
This flow works the spine in every direction, releases the upper back/shoulders, and stretches the legs out.
👉 No props needed
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.

 Enjoy! Be well. 
 Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Want more yoga? Try this next: Work Break Chair Yoga

Open Heart, Open Hips Vinyasa Flow

Open Heart, Open Hips Vinyasa Flow

Inversion Free Opt. in 25 min

Are you in need of some release in your heart and hips?

This 25 min Open Heart, Open Hips Vinyasa Flow with Inversion Free Options works to open these emotional centers of the body for full release.


Opening the heart and opening the hips may seem disjointed in their connectivity but in fact, they are intrinsically connected.
The hips help us literally move forward in life, one step at a time. When we feel fear or another emotion that holds us back, the hips may reveal this with physical aches and pains.
The heart center encompasses our chest, upper back, shoulders and armpits, and arms. When we experience heartache or loss of any kind, any of these areas could develop pain just like the hips can.


Details:

I’ll be performing this practice Inversion Free but you do you.

👉 No props needed unless you want ‘em.
(Inversion free friends – use them for Savasana)
🌟 Good for Experienced Level.
🌟 Good for Seasoned Level.

FYI
You may experience some emotions arise during or after this practice. Be kind to yourself if emotions come up that you weren’t expecting. Spend time with it to allow them to fully release. You’ll feel lighter afterward.

 Enjoy! Be well. 
 Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Want more yoga time? Try this next: My Go-To Flow for Low Back Pain Relief

Finding Balance – 35 min Vinyasa Yoga

Finding Balance – 35 min Vinyasa Yoga

Inversion Free Options

Feeling out of balance?
No fear! Vinyasa Yoga is here to help you find balance. 😆
We’ll not only work on balance poses but balance in the breath
and balance within opposing energies—a little yin/yang action.

✨ All levels welcome.
I’ll be doing this inversion free but you do you.
✨ Grab props for an inversion free practice: blocks, bolster, pillows, blankets, etc.

There will be the obvious balance poses like tree pose, warrior 3, and half moon balance. But there will also be evenly timed inhales and exhales AND opportunities to experience opposing energy like being grounded in the lower body but light and lifted in the upper body.
Balance will also creep in while we make sure the right side and the left side get equal love.

  Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Want more yoga time? Try this next: Another Balance Flow

Detox Yoga Body and Mind

Detox Yoga Body and Mind

Inversion Free Opt. – 47 min

Enjoy this slower paced detox yoga practice for both body and mind. This practice will focus on the physical body and the energy centers to refresh ourselves and to release stagnant energy.

✨ All levels welcome.
✨ I’ll be doing this inversion free but you do you.
✨ Grab props for an inversion free practice: blocks, bolster, pillows, blankets, and a wall or a chair.

A slower practice awards us the time to let the body and energy release any tension or stagnant energy. By slowing down a little, we can really pay attention to not only the physical alignment but to our mental, emotional, and energetic state.

I invite you to take notice of any thoughts or feelings that come up without judgement. When one comes up, determine if it’s true and if it supports you positively. If the answer is no, allow it to release; release through your exhale, your sweat, or you can imagine tossing it out with your movement.

Stagnant energy sometimes reveals itself as emotions either during the practice or afterwards. If you notice a change in your emotional state, it’s okay, allow yourself to experience it. This is just the stagnant energy releasing to create space for new energy to come in.

  Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

If you have more time for yourself, try this next: Meditation for Daily Intention – 5 min

Meditation for Daily Intention – 5 min to Set Your Goals

Meditation for Daily Intention – 5 min to Set Your Goals

Ever wondered how to set up intentions and why it’s done daily?

Short answer: It helps set up your day, week, month, or year the way YOU want it!

A more in-depth explanation below the video.

“Let’s start today’s class by setting an intention.”

Have you heard yoga teachers start a class this way? For a long time, hearing this made me roll my eyes.
Why, you ask?
In retrospect, I didn’t get it. I didn’t know how to set an intention let alone what a good one would be, so why waste time with this–I just wanted to get moving.

It took me a lot of trial and error to ‘get it’ and after a long time of feeling like it had to be this complex thing, the realization came that it can be quite simple.

What is an intention?

An intention is a quality in which you want to create in your life — both on and off the mat. An intention can be a step toward a larger goal. Any intention that you choose should be something that’s really true to you – not just something you think you should do. Let it be some quality or goal you want.

🌟A note on this: Do your best to set up your intention to support you positively.
i.e. “I flow easily with new experiences” instead of “I won’t be so awkward in new situations”.

Why set one?

Setting an intention goes beyond the physical practice and brings more awareness to our spiritual selves. It provides the opportunity to bring another level of mental energy to change our mindset. Even if you only do it for the duration of a meditation or an asana practice, that energy and thought process carries on after you’re finished.

The best part is you can set one at any time! You don’t need to wait for New Year’s or another special occasion. Start now!

Here’s how.

The hard part is figuring out what you want. This decision can be a short term one, like setting your energy & emotions up to perform well in a presentation or it could be long term like a major goal you want to reach in a year.

Once you decide on a goal, then there’s a few questions to ask yourself to aide in visualizing and bringing the intention to life:

  • What kind of energy do you want to have today?
  • How do you want to show up emotionally?
  • What does this feel like? What does it look like and sound like?
  • How do you talk to yourself? How do you talk and interact with others?

Set up a period of time to quietly visualize yourself going through your day with this intention.
You can do this with me for 5 minutes in the video 👆.
To reiterate: visualization plays a big roll in all this intention setting.

Now here’s the REALLY important thing: You need to do it consistently.
Every morning. 5 minutes is all you need but you can go longer!

Why do it daily?

It builds momentum!
Envisioning it before it happens is key for the end result to come to fruition.

✨Believe it to see it.✨

There will be days you won’t wanna. There will be days you think you don’t have time. Do it anyway.
Do yourself the favor and show up for yourself — Do it for you.

I hope this process helps you become a better version of yourself.

   Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Try this next: Gentle Detox/Inversion Free in 25 min

Have a suggestion for a class you’d like to see? Contact me.

Post Covid Yoga – 30 min

Post Covid Yoga – 30 min

Pranayama and Yin Yoga to Support Lung Health.

Another wonderful request for a class…

If you have Covid, are post covid, or have some other respiratory illness to recover from, this Post Covid Yoga practice supports lung health with 3 types of pranayama to increase your oxygen.

Even if you don’t have the ‘vid, this class is fabulous for slowing down this holiday season and taking some time for self-care. The more you care for yourself, the more you can care for others.

There are no standing poses and this class uses gentle asana with 1 min Yin Yoga holds focused on opening the chest and rib areas.

This can easily be done in bed if you’re not feeling well enough to move onto your mat. Just use your pillows as your supportive props.

As you move through this class, if you become tired or out of breath — stop. Take as long as you need to rest and come back to it when you feel ready.

FYI—I’ll be performing this practice Inversion Free but you do you.

👉 Grab some props; Blocks, Bolster, Pillows, Blankets, etc.
🌟 Good for ALL Levels.


Affirmation offered in this video:

💚 I trust my body’s natural healing intelligence 💚

Repeat it until you believe it.

 Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

I’d love to hear how you felt after this post covid yoga class, so please contact me and let me know how you felt after practice.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you next time.

Have a request for a yoga class? Email me.

If you have more time, try this next: https://youtu.be/L1ct5RtSFfo

Energy Pick Me Up Yoga – 15 min

Energy Pick Me Up Yoga – 15 min

Caffeine kick without the caffeine? Whaaat?

Have you ever just felt like if you could have a quick ‘something’ to get you going, you’d be able to do x, y, or z?

Yeah. Me too.

This is where this gem of a flow came from. It’s a little bit like a shot of espresso or a cup of tea. The first sips are warming, familiar, and soft but a bit bitter. Once you’re mid-cup the bitterness isn’t so bitter anymore and you start to feel the zing of that sweet blast of excitement ‘cause you know the energy is coming. Finally, once you’ve had the last sip – in our case Savasana – the energy balances out for that feel-good buzz.

Buh-bye sluggish energy, Hello new found energy!

Enter my new Energy Pick Me Up Yoga flow that happens to be Inversion Free. In this energy boost, you can forget about the crash that happens after the caffeine wears off. At 15 min, it’s easy to slip into your day whenever you need a pick me up!

For those of you who can’t live without your coffee or tea…I get it. I have a cup of hot green tea every morning and if I miss it…ugh…the sluggishness and lack of focus is amazing. So have your favorite cup of caffeinated beverage and add this to it…see what happens.

E.N.E.R.G.Y!!! Wooooo!
Note to self: Maybe I need to cut back a little. 🥴😂

The Details:

All poses will be held for 3 or fewer breaths to make sure to keep the energy moving.
I’ll be performing this practice Inversion Free but you do you.
To stay within 15 min, the Savasana is 1 minute. If you’d like to Savasana longer—Do It!!

👉 No props needed. Only for Savasana if Inversion Free (or if you want to use ‘em)
🌟 Good for experienced practitioners.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those with glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.


An affirmation to help this energy boost:

My body and my mind are energized and ready to take action.

Repeat it ’til you believe it.

This flow was a fun one to do; it certainly lifted my energy.
Hope you got a boost after this practice too!

  Enjoy! Be well. 
   Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Got more time? Try this next: Uplifting Vinyasa Flow

Hands Free and Wrist Free in 30 min

Hands Free and Wrist Free in 30 min

Inversion Free Options provided

By special request, a Hands Free & Wrist Free Yoga flow. No props are needed unless you are inversion free. There’s no wrist bending and the hands are not used.

Cheers to happy hands & wrists! 🥂

This flow has planks, balances, twists, stretches, core work, standing poses, shoulder openers, and hip openers…all hand free and wrist free! A feel-good flow in 30 minutes.

👉 No props unless you want ‘em.
🌟 All levels welcome

If you are Inversion Free, please make sure you have props handy to ensure your head stays higher than your heart.

As always, this flow has some creative ways to be hand free and wrist free. In fact, I found this quote which will now live on my vision board because it is right on the money.

“Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.”

~ Michael J. Gelb

Maybe you feel the same way? If I have a lack of enjoyable problem solving, like making these fun vinyasa flows, I find I get bored, sad, and a little depressed. Although, I’ll admit, the problem solving I don’t like so much adds up too — it keeps life interesting even if it’s not my favorite problem to solve.

Happy yoga-ing! Hope you enjoy this creative vinyasa flow.

   Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

Hit me up with any requests for classes via email.
✨Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you next time.✨

25 Minute Full Body Yoga Flow

25 Minute Full Body Yoga Flow

Experienced Level with Inversion Free Opt.

This 25 Minute Full Body Yoga Flow works into a fun, full body standing sequence. Back and arm work lead into a gentle forward fold and calming twists. Inversion Free options are provided; remember to keep the head higher than the heart!

👉 Blocks are helpful for balances and if you’re Inversion Free 
🌟 Experienced Level     
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart.   Great for those glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don't like going upside down.

Got more time? Try this next: https://youtu.be/hAfWFk3r3YU

    Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼 

I hope this full body yoga flow got you moving and feeling good.
✨Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you next time.✨

Uplifting Vinyasa Flow & Heart Opening

Uplifting Vinyasa Flow & Heart Opening

Inversion Free Opt – No props

This Uplifting Vinyasa Flow works the body to emotionally lift you up. The simple movement of lifting upward helps bring energy and life into your psyche. Heart opening is the main focus.

After doing this practice, I felt lighter and my energy was elevated. Make sure to do a full Savasana, and if you want to stay longer than the video — do it! You won’t be sorry.

In case you didn’t know, Savasana allows the nervous system, the body, and the mind to properly settle down and recuperate. If you skip it, you may feel jittery or, the opposite, sleepy afterward and will miss out on that ‘Zen’ feeling. I know this sounds kooky that both extremes are possible but I have experienced both on separate occasions without time in Savasana.

👉 No props needed unless you want ’em.
🌟 Great for any level yoga practitioner.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.

Got more time? Try this next: https://youtu.be/aqR1-cWFlTQ

    Enjoy! Be well. 
  Remember to breathe. 
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

I hope this uplifting yoga flow opened your heart and elevated your mood. Enjoy the sights and sounds of my garden. 🌴🌸🦚

Go-to Yoga Flow for Low Back Pain

Go-to Yoga Flow for Low Back Pain

Hi 👋

It’s been a while since we’ve been together on the mat with a new video. As you may have seen in some of my social media posts, I’ve been working on an online yoga project and in order to make it the very best for you, all my attention and energy has been going into that. The project isn’t ready yet but I miss sharing these videos with you. Happy Yoga-ing!

This go-to yoga flow for low back pain focuses on both stretching and strengthening for a happier low back. Perfect for when you wake up with an unhappy low back or had a long day that ended with low back discomfort.

The deets:

👉 No props needed unless you want ’em.
🌟 Great for any level yoga practitioner.
✨ Inversion Free means no downward facing dog, no head stand, no poses where the head goes below the heart. Great for those glaucoma, cardiac issues, vertigo, acid reflux, or if you just don’t like going upside down.

Got more time? Try this next: How to Open Stiff Shoulders – Inversion Free

Be Well.
Remember to Breathe.
🙏Namaste my friends🙏

Enjoy this beautiful flow whenever you need low back relief.

Hope you enjoyed the sights and sounds of my garden. 🌴🌸🦚

Yoga for Tight Hips for Beginners

Yoga for Tight Hips for Beginners

Inversion Free & Wrist Friendly

Yoga for Tight Hips is perfect for Beginners and anyone with Tight Hips. This is a no standing, inversion free, wrist friendly practice.

🎶👉 Spotify Playlist: https://bit.ly/YogaforTightHipsSpotify

Cow Face Pose, Half Lord of the Fish, and Seated Pigeon are just a few of the poses to encourage tight hips to open. Each pose is explained and variations are offered so you can explore what feels right to you.

Props: Blocks and a yoga strap are helpful but not necessary.

Basics of Bandhas Link: The Basics of Bandhas in a Yoga Practice

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Beginner Yoga Balance Flow

Beginner Yoga Balance Flow

For Concentration and Calmness

Beginner Yoga Balance Flow explores standing balances on one foot as well as seated balances. Each asana is explained and variations are offered so you can explore what feels right to you.

🎶👉 Spotify Playlist: https://bit.ly/BegBalanceFlowSpotify

Balance poses are not only good for our physical strength and balance but also for concentration, calmness, and a sense of feeling grounded.

Warrior 3, Eagle Pose, and Half Moon Balance are just a few of the balance poses explored in this flow. We start with some grounding warm ups to prep the body and mind to execute the full variations of the poses.

Props are optional: Yoga Blocks, a chair, or a wall may be helpful but not necessary.

✨Try this to Improve your Shoulder Flexibility: How to Open Stiff Shoulders – Inversion Free

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Beginners Standing Yoga Flow in 29 min – Wrist Free Opt

Beginners Standing Yoga Flow in 29 min – Wrist Free Opt

Beginners Standing Yoga Flow moves through standing poses with two feet on the mat & some pranayama. Pose alignment isn’t the same for all; variations are offered so you can find what works for YOU.

🎶👉 Spotify Playlist: https://bit.ly/BegStandingYoga28minSpotify

Your wrists get a break in this flow. Skip the Down Dog and take Childs Pose instead.

Guess what? There’s no vinyasas in this flow…it’s called a vinyasa flow because the movement aligns with the breath.

Half Sun Salutations, Warriors 1 & 2, Goddess, and Extend Side Angle are just a few of the poses in this flow. Each pose is explained and variations are offered so you can explore what feels right to you.

No props needed unless you want ‘em!

I talk about using Uddiyana Bandha in this practice…learn more about it: The Basics of Bandhas in a Yoga Practice.

Make sure to try this Beginner/Newbie practice 👉 How to Open Stiff Shoulders – Inversion Free

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Leg Day Vinyasa Flow #2 – Feel the Burn

Leg Day Vinyasa Flow #2 – Feel the Burn

Ballet Infused, Inversion Free, Weight Loss Support

🎶👉 Spotify playlist: https://bit.ly/LegDayVinyasaFlow2Spotify

Leg Day Vinyasa Flow #2 uses Yoga and Ballet technique to strengthen the legs in 30 min. This is naturally Inversion Free and supports a weight loss regimen. You’re gonna feel the burn🔥 !

Both isometric (stillness) and isotonic (flex & extend) contraction of the muscles are used in this practice to build strength and endurance.

If this was challenging for you, I recommend doing this practice two times a week until it gets easier.

Make sure to try Leg Day Vinyasa Flow – Strong & Stretchy Quads

Good for experienced or seasoned practitioners.
Props: Two blocks and cushioning for savasana.

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

A NOTE ON “YOGA for WEIGHT LOSS”: Practicing yoga alone is not a weight loss remedy. When used in combination with healthy habits off the mat it can be a great help. Especially to lower stress levels and find a deeper connection with yourself; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You can indeed get your heart rate up with some practices, you can sweat, strengthen, tone, detox, and burn calories.
To be quite honest, I don’t love using this term, but it’s a VERY high ranking SEO term; meaning people search it A LOT. I’m using it to direct more people to become aware of their mind body connection while working into a healthier lifestyle. 💫

Testing Your Boundaries 65 min Inversion Free Vinyasa Flow

Testing Your Boundaries 65 min Inversion Free Vinyasa Flow

Testing Your Boundaries tests your balance, strength, flexibility, AND your mind body connection. This vinyasa flow is for ANYONE looking to test their boundaries even if you’re NOT Inversion Free.

🎶👉 Spotify playlist: https://bit.ly/Spotify_TestingYourBoundaries

This explores playing between easy & hard and finding your greatest length before snapping. Notice what your mind thinks compared to what your body can do. The saying “Mind Over Matter” applies here. Do your best not to push beyond what you can handle, instead, bring yourself right up to it and take notice of what comes up emotionally and mentally.

Come back to this practice often to see how your boundaries change over time.

Good for experienced and seasoned practitioners or Newbies who love a challenge.

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

Toning & Weight Loss Support Playlist

Toning & Weight Loss Support Playlist

These practices help to strengthen & tone your body and support a weight loss regimen.

Many of you asked for Toning and Weight Loss videos, especially with quarantines and lockdowns in play.

And here we are! I will be adding more videos to this playlist, so check back often.

Some of these practices are Inversion Free but not all. If you are an Inversion Free practitioner make sure you see the words “Inversion Free” either on the image or in the description.

Be Well. Remember to Breathe. 🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

A NOTE ON “YOGA for WEIGHT LOSS”: Practicing yoga alone is not a weight loss remedy. When used in combination with healthy habits off the mat it can be a great help. Especially to lower stress levels and find a deeper connection with yourself; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You can indeed get your heart rate up with some practices, you can sweat, strengthen, tone, detox, and burn calories.
To be quite honest, I don’t love using this term, but it’s a VERY high ranking SEO term; meaning people search it A LOT. I’m using it to direct more people to become aware of their mind body connection while working into a healthier lifestyle. 💫

How to Open Stiff Shoulders – Inversion Free

How to Open Stiff Shoulders – Inversion Free

Welcome to this shoulder opening practice addressing arm positions found in Warrior 1, Downward Facing Dog, Cow Face, and Eagle by working on Flexibility in the chest, armpits, and shoulders.

Want Music? Try this Spotify playlist: https://bit.ly/StiffShoulders

Stretches for the armpits, triceps, chest, front of the shoulders, and in between the shoulder blades are targeted to help open those tight, stiff shoulders. All done with the wall and a yoga strap to stay Inversion Free.

Helpful Prop: a yoga strap or object that resembles it.

This area of the body happens to be where the heart chakra and throat chakra reside. So if you’re feeling indifferent or less creative, resistant or unresponsive these chakras will benefit from a shift in energy.

Opening the shoulders and chest is exactly what they need for you to feel more receptive, to tap into your creative juices, and allow for more compassion in your day.

Good for everyone. Especially if you have tight shoulders. 😉

Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼

The Basics of Bandhas in a Yoga Practice

Please note: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting me so I can continue to provide you with free content.

As I sat down to write all about the Basics of the Bandhas in a Yoga Practice, I wound up leafing through my notes from my initial yoga training that was 10 years ago. While I have great memories of those times, the actual application of the material has been vital in my growth as a yoga practitioner and as a yoga teacher. I’ll share with you what I have learned about the bandhas and currently implement in my own personal practice.

I’m going to do my best here to keep my explanation simple; if you know me, you know this is no simple feat. I’ll cover the why’s and how’s of the most commonly used Bandhas in a yoga practice.

Okay, here we go.

Bandhas are defined as “to lock, to hold, to stop”. This refers to locking, holding, or stopping energy with physical connections. Along the spine, there are three used to direct the flow of energy. My beautiful notes from ten years ago say this, “(Bandhas) work like the heart valve to keep energy in and moving up and don’t let it back out.” This phenomenon is ultimately responsible for the ‘zen’, calm feeling when you are finished with your practice. In a nutshell, they help ‘ya feel good.

Let’s go over these three bandhas.

Uddiyana Bandha

Note: Bandhas should not be practiced by pregnant women. Those of you with eye pressure issues and/or cardiac issues should stay away from any breath retention (holding the breath).

The first one is called Mula Bandha (Moo-lah Bond-ah) and it’s location is the pelvic floor. It’s the root lock as it’s at the base of the spine. The engagement of this bandha is very similar to Keigel exercises. It’s those muscles you use to stop the flow of urine plus you have to contract your anus (like you’ve gotta go to the bathroom NOW but there’s no where to go). Mula bandha engagement keeps the energy from falling out. It’s used in asana practice, like a Hatha or vinyasa, in poses like Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Urdvha Dandasana (Wheel Pose), Sirsasana (Headstand), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold with extended legs), etc.. Oh—and every other pose during the entire practice. Yep, the whole thing!

Moving up the spine the next bandha is Uddiyana Bandha (Oo-dee-ayn-na Bond-ah) and it’s located in the belly. This bad boy of a bandha is by far the most frequently mentioned bandha of the three. There are two engagements; subtle and full.

The subtle engagement of Uddiyana Bandha is a gentle pulling up and in of the belly toward the spine. From an anatomical perspective think about Pilates’ “Powerhouse”. The main muscles that create the Powerhouse are the rectus abdominis, the obliques, transverse abdominis, diaphragm, multifidus, gluteal group (your bum), the pelvic floor, and the psoas. When your movement teacher says one of these cues, “Pull the belly up and in”, “Scoop the belly in and up”, or “Hollow out the belly”, they are referring to Uddiyana Bandha with this subtle engagement. If you’ve taken any of my classes, you’ve heard me say these cues A LOT.

Energetically speaking, this bandha moves the energy from the lower abdomen upward toward the head. Physical benefits of this bandha provide support for your spine, hips, standing balances, and overall stability.

Now the full engagement of Uddiyana Bandha is done with the purpose of cleansing, toning the abdominals, and massages the internal organs. Sounds intense, right? I promise it’s not that bad. Instead of grabbing milk of magnesia or the pink stuff, try Uddiayana Bandha. It stimulates your digestive juices to help remedy stomach ailments. It also balances the adrenal system, relieves stress and can pep you up. (Remember, this bandha moves energy upward).

Here’s how you do the full engagement but before we get into it…it’s best to learn this in person with an instructor if possible.

Full engagement is done on an empty stomach and empty bladder. (👈Super important.)
Start standing in Tadasana, feet hip width apart, hands on the hips. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, bend the knees slightly, hands to the thighs, elbows out, and let the belly soften outward. Once ALL the air is out, suck your belly up and in toward the spine and up under your ribs. Hold your breath. When you need to inhale, FIRST release the belly then take your inhale through the nose, keep the hands on the thighs. On your NEXT inhale gently come to full standing position, Tadasana, and go for another round.

✨This can be repeated up to six times.
✨Wait about 15 minutes before eating or drinking so your belly can benefit from the exercise.

The last of the bandhas along the spine is Jalandhara Bandha (Jah-lan-harra Bond-ah) located in the throat area. This seals the energy lock from tail to skull; the length of the spine. Jalandhara Bandha can be considered the lock that controls the flow of energy in the nerves and blood vessels of the neck as it engages the medulla oblongata.

It’s performed by lowering the chin toward the notch between the collar bones. It’s similar to holding a small piece of fruit or an egg with your chin. When done correctly, if you’re built like me, you’ll have a glorious double chin.

It’s used in a few poses like Dandasana (Staff Pose) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand). More frequently, it’s used in pranayama practices like Ujjayi (ocean breath) and Nodi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril breathing).

When all three of these are done at once, it’s called Maha Bandha. The great seal or lock a.k.a. The Big Kahuna Bandha. Just kidding. It’s not called that but it sounds fun.

Bandhas are defined as “to lock, to hold, to stop”.

There are a few other bandhas which I’ll mention but not get into detail about because they are self-explanatory…

Downward Facing dog

Hasta Bandha is when the hands press against the ground…the ground stops the energy from leaving through the hands. Same with the feet with Pada Bandha.

i.e. in downward facing dog, you’re practicing both these bandhas. In arm balances, you practice Hasta Bandha. In Warrior poses you’re using Pada Bandha. You get the idea, yes?

Lastly, there’s Brahma Bandha. This is when you keep your mind locked on God as you practice.

There you have it. Bandha mania all wrapped up in one little blog post. I hope this brings more understanding on the why’s and the how’s of Bandha usage in a yoga practice. Implementing them into your practice, if you’re not already, will create a new layer of understanding with continued practice.

Happy Bandha-ing!

🙏Namaste my friends🙏

Suggested Reading:
B.K.S. Inyengar Light on Yoga
David Swenson, Ashtanga Yoga “The Practice Manual” An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice.
Paul Massey, The Anatomy of Pilates
Lauren Imparato, “Bandhas for Beginners: Intro to Yogas Interior Locks”
Rolf Sovik, Yoga International. “A Beginner’s Guide to Bandhas”

Ahisma in Asana; Exploring What It Means

Ahisma in Asana; Exploring What It Means

During my home practice this morning several thoughts manifested. One in particular stood out.

The predominant word that kept coming up during this practice was “free-flowing”. Here’s why: I found myself trying so desperately to hold on to habits that have worked for a long time but at that moment I realized, it’s time to let it go; to let myself flow freely; hence, “free-flowing”. Perhaps my dance improvisation habits were interfering?

Ahisma = Non-violence
Asana = Pose

You see, in dance improvisation, it’s encouraged to discover ‘new movement’ and ‘new movement phrases’. By allowing yourself free-flowing movement, the structure starts to melt away and new ways of moving your body are created. Which is super cool if you’re into it. But today these two ideologies were butting heads in my head.

I was struggling with the idea of having to fit my practice into an ideal structure. This is a structure that I’ve practiced for years, what is done on one side must be done on the second to stay “balanced”. But what if one side doesn’t need what the other needs? So, I decided for today, it’s time to let the flow be free.

Balance is important, I’m not saying otherwise, but isn’t allowing the freedom of movement to flow as it will important too?

My mind was working in symmetries where maybe it didn’t need to. Then the philosophy of the 8 limbs of yoga and the idea of Ahisma came up.

A brief summary of what Ahisma is and what it means from someone who isn’t a yoga philosophy master but enjoys a good discussion.

Ahisma is defined as non-violence. Most people see it as non-violence toward others (people, animals, plants, insects, etc) but it also means non-violence to yourself. Ahisma is love; speaking kindly, acting with kindness and compassion, and letting go of what no longer serves you. (You’ve heard this last one in many yoga classes, I’m sure). Mahatma Ghandi focused his life around the idea of Ahisma and if you’d like to learn more about him check out this website: https://www.mkgandhi.org/

Mahatma Ghandi
Mahatma Ghandi

B.K.S. Iyengar said in his book The Tree of Yoga,

“Suppose that in performing an asana you are stretching more on the right side and less on the left…There is violence on the right side where you are stretching more, and the left side, where the stretch is less, appears to be non-violent…Though it may appear non-violent, it is also violence as the cells will die when they do not perform their functions as they should. One side thus manifests deliberate violence, and the other side non-deliberate violence.”

Buy it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xSBwxa

Disclaimer: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting me so I can continue to provide you with free content.

Not doing one side can cause a feeling of being lopsided. But if one side needs a little more or less than the other side and we treat them according to what they need, then we are practicing Ahisma. Or in Iyengar’s words, “What is required is integration between the right and left sides of the body, and this balance of the two sides is true non-violence.”

So, by this reasoning it IS violent to not do one side.
Oops. Sorry body.
I’ll keep Free-Flowing but on BOTH sides from now on.

Yoga ‘A-ha’ moments; ever have one?

Yoga ‘A-ha’ moments; ever have one?

Have you ever had an ‘A-ha’ moment during your yoga practice?

Don’t worry if you didn’t.

Not every yoga practice is a life changing moment but instead builds moments to a life change.

After Savasana, I always prompt this:

“Take a few moments to check in with how you feel.
How do you feel physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically, and spiritually?”

What does all this mean?

Yoga isn’t just the physical practice. Yes, we get on the mat, we move physically but when we move physically, it effects everything else.

Ever go into a fitness class or dance class in a foul mood but walk out feeling SO MUCH BETTER?? Yeah, it’s because of all the beautiful hormonal changes that happen when we move our bodies…

Moving your body has been scientifically proven to keep us healthy. It creates the happy hormones; Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, & Endorphins.1

Once you stop moving, your body starts to weaken and things start to deteriorate.
Physically AND mentally. Because…MOVEMENT IS LIFE.

I digress…(and I gracefully step off my soap-box)

Here’s what I’m really asking you to observe and think about at the end of each practice.

  1. Notice what you feel physically. The good, the not-so-good, and the bad.
    i.e. tingling, tightness, weakness, stretched out, muscle fatigue, soreness, etc.
    ~ By taking notice, you learn what poses, what style of yoga, what breath work, and what meditations work for you and your body.

2. What do you feel emotionally?
i.e. boredom, excitement, sad, happy, peaceful, or maybe you can’t label what you feel.
~ If a wave of emotion comes up, do your best to experience it, even if it’s uncomfortable. By experiencing it, you’re allowing that energy to release. Releasing allows space for new energies to replace them.

3. What’s going on mentally?
i.e. are worries popping up, are you anxious about something, are you thinking about something else or someone else, do you want to stay longer, (Monkey Mind) etc.
~ A big part of practicing yoga, is observing our thoughts. This is the perfect time to do so. Just ‘cause the thought is there, doesn’t mean it’s true or you have to act on it.

4. How do you feel energetically?
i.e. are you fidgety, fatigued, sleepy, calm, re-energized, etc.
~ These signals help you figure out if and how the practice helped you, or not.

5. What, if anything, has come up spiritually?
i.e. any ‘A-ha’ moments, epiphanies, or personal realizations, any noticeable changes within yourself; how you cope with stress, life changes, beliefs, etc.
~ Sometimes, this is as simple as an answer to a complex issue you were having…maybe how to resolve a relationship issue or how to execute a plan.

I’ll say this: not every practice is going be a life changing epiphany. Sometimes we get these awesome ‘A-ha!’ moments but more often than not, the changes are subtle and appear over time. This is why having a consistent yoga practice is important. Small changes culminate to create awareness and mindfulness.

Have you had an ‘A-ha’ moment during your yoga practice? What light bulb went on for you?

Have an awesome day!
Namaste my friends.

1Shah, A., 2020. Happy hormones: 4 chemicals that activate happiness and how to increase them naturally. [online] Everyday Science. Available at: https://www.everydayscience.blog/happy-hormones/ [Accessed 11 June 2021].

Benefits of Yoga, What I’ve Learned

Benefits of Yoga, What I’ve Learned

This list is of benefits that I have personally experienced through my time doing yoga, and keep in mind, this list is always growing.

  • Everyone learns and moves at their own pace.
  • The Breath DOES matter.
  • How to listen to my body; what type of practice is my body calling for? Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle Flow, pranayama, etc.
  • Learn to practice calmness.
  • Learning my boundaries; when I go too far or not far enough.
  • Push my creativity.
  • How to connect with others without placing judgment on them.
  • How to recognize when ego takes over.
  • How to tame my ego (daily workout).
  • Yoga asana is accessible to everyone.

  • Yoga is NOT just poses; there is so much more depth within the practice (8 Limbs).
  • Yoga practice is what you want it to be; asana, meditation, pranayama, philosophy, etc.Meditation can be done in SO MANY different ways; breath work, focal points, moving meditations, visualizations, etc.
  • Yoga is grounding.
  • Yoga teaches us to connect and at the same time allows for detachment.
  • There is no “right” way…guidelines for safety, yes, but no “right” way.
  • It’s okay not to practice sometimes.
  • Yoga calms my anxieties and sometimes causes them but I’m never sorry I practiced.
  • How to find a practice that works for people with health issues.
  • To be flexible; not just physically but mentally and emotionally.
  • To open my heart and be kinder to others but also to myself.

  • To recognize that mind, body, and emotion are intrinsically connected.
  • Deep breaths are little gifts to ourselves.
  • There are many, many different types of yoga practices out there…some ancient, some modern…it doesn’t matter which you choose as long as it helps you become a better version of yourself.
  • Yoga practice can give a sensation of calmness, feeling grounded, feeling connected, secure, at peace, energized, and balanced, all at the same time.
  • It’s okay to have a sense of humor about yoga…it’s not all serious all the time.
  • Yoga practice isn’t all rainbows and unicorns…it has uncomfortable moments.
  • Each day the body, the mind, and our energies are different.

🙏🏼 Namaste my friends. 🙏🏼

Do you practice every day?

Do you practice every day?

I get this question a lot.  

The short answer,  it depends. 

Remember: 

Yoga isn’t just the physical practice; there’s 7 other limbs of the ‘yoga tree’. 

But we’ll get to that in another Blog post.

 

The longer answer goes like this:

Since Yoga isn’t just a physical practice, yes, I practice yoga everyday but in different aspects.  

Sometimes it’s 5 min of meditation in the simple form of sitting still and breathing or listening to music that inspires me.  

Sometimes it’s lifting weights. The breath-movement coordination in this activity is just as soothing to the mind as a yoga asana practice.  Plus it helps keep ‘yoga butt’ at bay. 

On some days, I practice some kriyas (cleansing); oil pulling, neti pot, etc. 

If my body and spirit need rest, I take it.  

I am intuitive with myself and on most days, I do what it asks me to do;  a full yoga practice, planks, a ballet barre, dancing in the kitchen; whatever my body calls for, I do.  Just the other day, I started with a series of planks, moved into shoulder stand and headstand, then did a ballet barre.  Yesterday, I did nothing.  My body, my mind, my emotions needed a day to just chill.

Now, if you are working toward a goal, consistency is needed within your practice.  In order to get your body and mind to understand, repetition is the way to discovery.  Nuances reveal themselves within poses the more you do them.

Other ways to practice yoga: 

Being mindful and aware of the present moment is yoga.  

Taking a deep breath and really feeling it, is yoga.

Feeling the breeze, sunlight, or raindrops on your skin is yoga.  

Spending time in nature or with animals is yoga.  

Doing what brings you a sense of wholeness or connection to the universe, planet, society, a partner or friend and mostly yourself, is yoga.  

You’ll know when this happens — a surge of energy comes through the body and mind, mood improves, you may feel like you want to tackle a huge project. 

Happy yoga-ing!