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Winter tightness is the worst! And if you’ve been shoveling snow lately (thanks, #SnowBombCyclone!), you’re may find yourself with a doubly aching back the next day.

Yoga to the rescue! Here are my four key stretches for survival!

1: Release Your Hip Flexors & Lower Back: Crescent Lunge
The psoas is the largest hip flexor muscle. It runs up the front of the hip, cuts through the abdominal cavity and attaches to the lower lumbar spine. Stretching the psoas not only gives you a hip flexor stretch, it can also release lower back tightness. Stand in a lunge position, with your right foot forward and the right knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Tuck your tailbone forward to intensify.

BONUS: Open your arms, bend your elbows, and pull your shoulder blades together to add a chest stretch.

Stay for 10 deep breaths and switch sides.

 

2. Release Your Upper Back: Eagle Arms
Bring the arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle, elbows at shoulder-height. If this is enough of a stretch for the shoulders/upper back, stay here. If you need more of a stretch, drop the left elbow below the right and twine the forearms, pressing the back of the palms together. The key to releasing the upper back muscles is to keep the elbows lifted and equal height to the shoulders, and the shoulders as relaxed and low as possible.

Take ten deep breaths and switch sides.

 

 

3. Release Your Lower Back: Modified Half-Moon Pose
Your lower back may bear the brunt of the winter tightness AND certainly will feel it after any significant amount of shoveling. Release this vulnerable area with this gentle stretch.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your right hand on your right hip. Lift the left arm up and then to the right. You should feel an immediate (and delightful!) release of your lower back muscles (the quadratus laborum or “QLs”).

Take ten deep breaths here, using your breath to expand the left ribs, deepening the stretch, then switch sides.

 

 

4. Release Your Chest Muscles: Doorway Pose
Anytime you stretch a muscle group, you want to release the synergists and antagonists. After you stretch the upper back, you also want to stretch the chest. While we began that work with the open-arm bonus above (Pose #1), let’s stretch them pectorals (chest muscles) a little more deeply now. Stand in a doorway or agaist a wall and put your right arm out at a ninety-degree angle. Press your palm, forearm, and elbow against the doorframe and twist your chest gently away (in this case, to the left).
Stay for 10 deep breaths and switch sides.

Taking time to stretch all the major muscles you’ve just worked will minimize soreness and increase your chances for the quickest snow bomb cyclone recovery possible. Stay warm, stay hydrated, and remember the most important pose of all: couch-asana, which should be done lying down and for an extended amount of time. Bonus if done with a puppy. 🙂

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I’m SO excited to announce that I’m hosting a Tea-Time Chat and Q&A with New York Times bestselling author, Oprah SuperSoul #100 leader, and internationally acclaimed speaker Gabby Bernstein on Sunday Oct 2 in Boston…and you’re invited!

 

One of the many things that I love about the WELL Summit is that it seeks to nourish attendees on all levels, which directly aligns with my philosophy, and this event will be the same. You’ll sip delicious, organic tea, enjoy healthy treats and soul-deep conversation–including answers to the questions you care most about–in an intimate, welcoming space in community with similarly minded people. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

All attendees will leave with a gift bag of carefully curated wellness products and a copy of Gabby’s new book, The Universe Has Your Back so that they can continue to be nourished and pampered at home.

Tickets are available through the W.E.L.L. Summit: http://wellsummit.org/gabby-bernstein-event/

I’m thrilled to be leading a workshop again this year at Grub Street’s Muse and theGrub Street Typewriter Mark Twain Marketplace. This is my third year teaching and fifth year attending this nationally recognized writer’s conference and every year I leave full-up on the excitement of new knowledge, connections, friendships, and energy, ideas, and tools for my writing.

Here are my 5 reasons you won’t want to miss it either:

  1. It’s a writer’s buffet of teaching talent. This veritable smorgasbord for writing allows you to take classes with a wide variety of teachers, learning from their unique experience and background.
  2. You can take classes on anything–ANYTHING and everything about the craft and business of writing. Want to drill down to the sentence level? We have a class on that. Wrestling with multiple points of view in your work in progress? We have a class on that. Not sure if your agent is right for you? Well, we just so happen to have a class on that. Not sure if you want to go indie or traditional? We will walk you through the pros and cons. If you can think of it, dream it or ask it, YES, WE HAVE A CLASS ON IT.
  3. It’s specific time to dedicate to you and your craft and that matters. As writers, we often squeeze our writing into the times we’re not doing everything else in our lives. I believe while that is unavoidable, it also sends a message to some deep level of your psyche (and your Muse). Taking time and making time to dedicate to your craft also sends a message: This matters to me and I will lovingly tend to, nourish, and dedicate myself to you.
  4. You will learn things you don’t even know you need to. See #2 above. Now peruse the list of classes here. Take something unexpected. Leave with your #mindblown.
  5. I will teach you tools you can use at home to bust through blocks and boost your creativity. You will leave feeling empowered and looking at creativity in a whole new way. Also, I will have snacks. 🙂

 

I took a chance and wrote a piece about why I left my high-powered (and soul-sucking) PR career to teach yoga…and was THRILLED when Marie Claire accepted it!

Then Cosmopolitan picked it up…!!Marie Claire 2

Then Elle picked it up…!!

Then Dr. Oz picked it up…!!!

And then Redbook picked it up!!!

OH HAPPY DAY!!!! I’m so thrilled to share my story with even more seekers, the growing tribe of people that are looking for more than a paycheck. Who want to make a difference, serve the world in their highest way, and find more fulfillment as they do. Keep seeking, seekers! We’re all in this together! <3

Logo Elle

 

 

 

Logo Dr Oz Logo Cosmo Logo Redbook Logo Marie Claire

 

 

 

 

Athleta Chi Snap

I’m thrilled to have my first piece featured on the Athleta Chi Blog! Check out my how-to guide on going “OM for the Holidays: 5 Tips to Keep You Zen“–for when your back’s tight from the plane, your belly’s too full, you can’t sleep, or the ever-loving fam is driving you crazy (um…not that MY fam or YOUR fam would ever do that!) 😉

 

NationalYogaMonth‬ Q&A: Let’s do this!

We got some great questions last week! Here are my answers to 3 of them–ranging from drinking and headstands (NO!) to what to do when your wrists hurt in downward facing dog (here’s my favorite option).

Have YOU got questions? ASK! Comment below or send me a private message on my contact page, Facebook, or Twitter, and I’ll answer next week for ‪#‎WellnessWednesday‬ with Healthworks Fitness Centers!

Q: Is it bad to drink beer while doing headstand? –Israel M.

A: Insider tip: The pros go straight for the vodka. KIDDING! In all seriousness, do not drink and yoga. You are more likely to injure yourself. Do yoga and save the cocktails for afterward 🙂

Q: What can I do to take some of the pressure (and resulting pain) out of my wrists in downward facing dog? I’ve been trying to figure this out for years. –Ann P.

A: When the wrists are tender, it can take a while to feel better—especially if they’re already sensitive from working at a computer. When this happens, I like to take the wrists out of the equation altogether. I suggest trying downward facing dog on your forearms (sometimes called Egyptian Dog). That way, you still get all the shoulder-strengthening, upper-body challenge (along with all the other benefits of Dog), without ANY strain on the wrists.

Let them rest for awhile. Then, if you want to try traditional dog again, you can integrate hands and forearms slowly. You can also try elevating the heels of your hands with a fold of a blanket and see if that gives you some relief.

Q: What do you love about yoga –Tatiana

A: I love how it serves as a sanctuary from the rest of life—a place to come and release, receive, and rejuvenate. I love how it supports and nourishes us.

 

Friends, grab your camera, bathing suit, camera and even a yoga mat. I am SO excited to announce I’ll be teaching yoga as part of a private tour through beautiful BALI Oct. 3-10.

Join us as we breathe fresh island air, take in lush landscapes, explore rice fields, bike through back roads of charming villages, eat nourishing, healthy meals, partake in an ancient meditation ceremony, hike up Mt. Batur (pictured below), take a Balinese cooking class…and of course optional daily yoga with me 🙂

The amazing Jess K. at My Adventure Travel put together a holistic tour to make sure you leave the island refreshed and inspired. I can’t wait and I hope you’ll join us.

Did I mention it’s really affordable?

Learn more here.

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