Comment

TOTD: How To Perfect Your Lunge

Last weeks TOTD downward dog split

You can start in downward dog or from standing. From downward dog inhale and lift the right leg up and exhale bringing the right foot in between your hands. From standing, on your next exhale step the right foot forward. With the right foot in front of you bend that knee resting the left knee on the mat. Ensure the right knee is at a 90 degree bend and not too far over the toes.

Inhale lift the arms up to the sky and as you exhale melt the left hip down to the mat. You should feel a lovely stretch here. Play with spacial movement here, perhaps on your next inhale look up between the hands or for a lovely back bend, tilt the upper body backwards slightly. Exhale and see how far you can melt the left hip into the mat. Did you notice any difference?

Let me know how you got on with your lunge pose

Comment

Autumn Lookbook 2015

Comment

Autumn Lookbook 2015

That crisp Autumn weather is upon us and with it comes a new wardrobe change, at least for my yoga wear. I tend to wear a lot more longer, thicker yoga leggings and long sleeved tops. I'm excited to share with you some of the things I recently purchased, most are from the Sweaty Betty sale, which may have been their summer wear, but some items were perfect for the Autumn and Winter. Of course good old Sweaty Betty isn't the cheapest of places, so I encourage you to have a look in their sale first!

Enjoy the video!


Outfit #1 

♥ Yoga Jumpsuit sale item £55 Out of stock, but similar items  http://www.sweatybetty.com/clothes/tops/long-sleeved-tops/halfpipemarl-lounge-luxe-jumpsuit/ and http://www.hm.com/gb/product/30617?article=30617-A&cm_vc=SEARCH 
♥ Adidas Techfit sports bra £22 http://www.adidas.co.uk/techfit-bra/AC4645.html
http://www.hm.com/gb/product/20710?article=20710-B&cm_vc=SEARCH
♥ Narrow Headband H&M £1.99 couldn't find online, but should be in store, similar here http://www.hm.com/gb/product/20710?article=20710-B&cm_vc=SEARCH
♥ Bracelet from a market in Italy

Outfit #2

♥ Leggings from TkMaxx Unsure of make (label rubbed off)
♥ Mint Yoga cami Sweaty Betty £30 
♥ Yoga tee Sweaty Betty £35

Outfit #3

♥ Alo Yoga leggings berry/stormy heather http://www.yogarebel.com/products/alo-yoga-goddess-ribbed-legging-berry-stormy-heather
♥ Leotard Sweaty Betty £35 sale item out of stock, similar http://www.sweatybetty.com/clothes/tops/tanks/red/pink/purple-passe-dance-leotard/
♥ Grey sports bra Sweaty Betty £30, old but similar here http://www.sweatybetty.com/clothes/underwear/bras-pants/shredderspacedye-resistance-workout-bra/

Comment

TOTD: How To Perfect Your Downward Dog Split

Comment

TOTD: How To Perfect Your Downward Dog Split

Last weeks TOTD Tree Pose

This pose is probably the best all-rounder for getting a total body stretch, especially in the morning. It helps tone abs, opens up the hips, lengthens the spine relieving back ache and stretches out the legs. From downward dog (click here for the how to on downward dog) inhale and lift the right leg up and ensure your right hip remains square to the mat i.e. the right hip shouldn't twist up. Exhale and push into the hands, perhaps bending the elbows slightly to help lift the right leg further up. You should feel a lovely stretch in the hip, abs and leg. Hold the split, breathing here for a couple of breaths before exhaling sinking your head closer to the mat, getting deeper into the stretch.

Let me know how to got on with your downward dog split

Comment

Comment

TOTD: How To Perfect Your Tree Pose

Start in tadasana (mountain pose) with weight evenly spread in the balls and heels of both feet and your arms resting by the side of your body. Roll the shoulders back and let them find a comfortable posture where your shoulders are not hunched to the ears, but relaxed and soft. In traditional mountain pose, the palms face the front – try experimenting with both; palms turned inwards facing the body and facing outwards in front. When palms are facing forwards you should get a sense of allowing energy to flow through the palms to aid strength in tadasana, especially when combined with the feet solid and rooted into the mat. You should be feeling quite strong and stable here. If you wish you can close your eyes (it makes it a little harder, but it’s great to experiment!) or you can focus your gaze on a stationary object out in front. Inhale here, lift the chin up slightly so that is it parallel to the mat and feel the sine elongate and as you exhale feel the whole body soften. Try breathing here a couple of times and notice how different your body feels; are you getting a sense of strength, support, confidence, empowerment or perhaps something different?

Shift weight into the right foot and slowly peel the left foot off the mat, first the heel then the toes until you are on the tips of the toes. If you’re feeling wobbly here hold on to a wall or a chair. Start to place the left foot on the inside of the right leg, either on the calf or on the right thigh. Don’t worry too much if you can’t move your foot higher at this stage. Allow the left knee to point out to the side and as you do, feel the left hip shift back slightly. There should be a lovely stretch in the inside of the left groin. You can place your hands at heart centre, or use one had to hold onto a chair and the other to hold the left foot. Inhale here feeling the spine elongate, reaching taller and growing your tree and at the same time keep the right knee soft (don’t interlock) perhaps feeling a slight lift from the knee. Keep your gaze focused on an object out in front or keep the eyes closed. Exhale feel the body relax. Again start to notice how different your body feels; a sense of growth, confidence, empowerment or something different? Stay here for a couple of breaths before releasing the left foot back to the mat and repeat the same sequence, shifting the weight to the left foot and bringing the right foot up.

Let me know how you got on!

Comment

5 Reasons Why It's Better to Struggle in Yoga

Comment

5 Reasons Why It's Better to Struggle in Yoga

We have all been there, when that one person who is new to your class gracefully enters a pose, whether that be warrior or some funky inversion and you struggle to even master tree pose after several classes. Fear not, here are 5 reasons why it is better to understand yoga philosophy and continue to practice getting into a pose, rather than being naturally talented and effortlessly entering a pose.

Accept the challenge

Not many people believe that yoga can be challenging. I have had a couple of people remark that they had tried yoga in the past but it sent them to sleep! Yes! Yoga can be challenging even if it is simply balancing in tree pose or getting stable and comfortable in warrior 2. Everyone has that one pose that makes them feel wobbly, sweaty or scared. Often these are the poses that we need to practice more of. Accept the challenge, practice daily and a good TIP is to try and record yourself doing it. It may sound silly, but often at home we don't have a big mirror to help us align ourselves. Recording yourself or even asking someone to take a look at what you are doing may help align you better and ensure you are not just doing the pose wrong.

Avoid risk of injury

Not many people know this, but people who seem naturally flexible are more often that not hyper flexible or joint hyper mobility. People who are hyper flexible are not aware of the ligaments holding the muscles which attach to the bone, which  in other people can limit space of movement in a pose. This could result in a joint being dislocated or muscles can rupture and become damaged, especially when repeated daily or weekly. A good yoga teacher should be able to identify pretty quickly whether any students have joint hyper mobility and adapt any poses for them to get the most out of it.

Yoga is for everybody

There seems to be a big trend at the moment where talented dancers or gymnasts at Olympic level are making their next move into the yoga world with there being some cross over for flexibility and strength. However, be mindful that you really don't need to come from these sorts of backgrounds to do yoga. In fact for all those people who have office jobs, or those who are constantly on the move have more a need to seek out yoga. Apart from relieving stress, yoga has many other benefits, which you can find here.

Get the most out of the pose

Once you realise where you may have been going wrong in your pose and start to align yourself better, this is when you can get the most from it. And by practising daily this will help you to master the pose, but don't worry how long it takes to get there. Often a yoga teacher will align you in class, remember how that felt when they altered you slightly - perhaps you felt more of a stretch in the side of the body, or you were able to forward fold deeper. And remember to breathe in the pose. It sounds silly, but it really does help - make sure your exhale is longer as you get deeper in to your pose.

Learn and grow 

Yoga isn't just about getting into a pose. It can extend into other areas of life, aiding confidence or finding balance in difficult situations such as panic attacks or a stressful situation. We understand the significance of the breath  and how to use it not just in yoga class. Sometimes you may even feel such as difference in yourself you may want to find out more about yoga and perhaps start reading into it or doing a teacher training. Ultimately, yoga can change your life and help you to grow into a different person for the better, allowing you to reach for goals or dreams you would never have thought to do before. 


Comment