February 2021 Pose of the Month

Week 1 – Meeting the Posture

Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

As we continue our yoga journey together this month we will focus on pigeon pose…. This is one of those poses most people tend to love or hate without much middle ground. For those of us that love it (I am on this team) this month will be a breeze…for the rest of you (my apologies and don’t worry I have my versions of this too!) take this month on as an exploration. We will look at a bunch of different ways to practice this pose as well as several ways to add props to make it more accessible and comfortable when we do practice it. This is one of the best parts of practicing at home…need 6 props for a pose to feel great…who cares! No one can see you if you don’t want them to. Remember what you learn and discover about a pose here should transfer into your practice during other times. Granted when you are in a faster paced vinyasa class you might not be able to grab 6 props for pigeon pose but just remember what your body needs most in each pose and do what you can to honor that and you can’t go wrong!

Some ideas for your journey through the month: Take a day 1 photo so you can get a good look at where your body really is in this pose, we need that birds eye view to really see where we are in space and where we need to work on things to improve our alignment in the posture, my day one photo is above…. Commit to practicing this pose in some variation each day for the entire month, grab another photo maybe in the middle and again at the end to compare, you can share your photos or not, entirely up to you! You can also keep a journal with your practice and take a moment after each time you hit the mat to jot down what comes up, was today little easier, or maybe a little more challenging, did you not want to spend time today but you did it anyway, could be as simple as just a few words.

The goal here is less about getting better at the pose and more about the journey of the pose throughout the 30 days. No doubt we will improve a posture by practicing everyday, but the practice of yoga is less about the shapes we make in the body and more about what comes up during those shapes. I encourage you to take this time to connect to your body, your mind and your practice in a deeper or at least different way. I am looking forward to taking this journey along with you.

Check out our week one mini practice where we will really focus on finding alignment in the legs and explore some different props to make this pose accessible and comfortable for each of us.

Week 2 – Pitfalls and Modifications

As much benefit as we can gain from our yoga practice, we have just as much chance to injure ourselves if we are not being mindful of the body in the poses. We can push our flexibility to improve and gain strength in more difficult poses, but we do all have some structural limitations and our bodies are not built to move in some ways. This is why our teachers give so many alignment cues for poses to help us with a few things: finding our body in space; learning to manipulate the body safely while maintaining alignment; and helping us to adapt the pose for our body and our practice level in that moment. Very often in class I speak about knowing the direction we are headed even if we aren’t there yet, the directions let us guide our body safely towards the way we want to go while allowing for the time needed to travel there.

Honoring our bodies is the number one most important thing to remember when you show up to the mat. Our ego getting the best of us is often what leads to injury, we see another student or the teacher taking a pose further than we should and we want to do it to. I think we all go through this in yoga, becoming aware of this ego takeover can allow you to start to drop the ego and focus on your own practice. For a long time I refused props in class not wanting to be the fat girl in class and need help, wanting to show everyone that I can do it! Man am I glad I realized that props are amazing and that no one else cares what I am doing, if anything they are thinking similar thoughts…look at that person I wish I was like them…chasing that ego around the room totally focused on themselves just like I was. (This is true in life off the mat too btw!)

It is easy to find ourselves stuck in a rut of bad habits in our practice if we never take the time to really learn the foundations of the poses, if we just look at the shapes people are making with their bodies we miss out on what the body is actually supposed to be doing. When we have these foundations and alignment cues we can make the pose work for us rather than trying to force our body into a shape we think it should be in, this is often how we end up injured or maybe just not enjoying the practice because we think we can’t do it. This is one of the great benefits of deep diving into a new pose like this each month.

Very often our mobility and ability to find comfort in this pose prevent us from finding a proper alignment in the pose. This week in our mini practice we will look at some different approaches to the pose making it altogether more accessible. This pose is really all about the hips and it is important to keep on eye on their alignment in this pose…check back with week 1’s video where we use some props with the legs to help keep that alignment. Another biggie is watching for rounding in the spine as you fold forward – just like all other folds think long straight spine!

Find yourself some wall space and grab a chair to try all the different variations with me today!

Are you an asker or are you an assumer?

Do you reach out and grab for what you want, or timidly leave hints hoping the world around you knows…or do you just always assume the worst and therefore fail to start?

I have been and will continue to be all of these people at different times….the question comes down to….are my actions serving my highest good, are they supporting the life I truly want?

#omandflow #wellnesswednesday #wellnessoffthemat #askforwhatyouwant #claimit #dontassume #whenyouassume #selfcare #selflove #growth #worktowardyourdreams #reflection #selfreflection #keepdreaming #decidewhatkindoflifeyouwant #workforit #supportivehabits

Let’s Get Moving

Ok peeps its our last habit for January by this point we’ve taken a look at our daily habits…are you making your bed?; we’ve checked in on our routines….it all comes down to consistency after all; and we’re finding moments of no strings attached joy each and everyday…..damn things are sounding pretty good around here! How is everyone doing….can you feel the energy building? I know I can!! Remember that progress is going to take you further in the long run than perfection, just keep going its ok when we mess up while were learning. For our last habit we are adding movement into our daily routines….and I’m not talking painful calorie burning sessions here you guys….we’re talking about joyful movement that celebrates our bodies…what do you LOVE to do….walk, hike, bike, garden, dance, play golf….just do more of it….don’t worry about how many calories you burned or how well you performed, just worry about how much fun your having….I doubt we will find someone reflecting on life wishing they burned more calories!

Dance Party!!!

As we enter week 3 of our January journey, often this is when new goals and habits start to get hard and maybe lose their shine. So to keep things going our mission this week is to find joy every day! That’s right for 15 minutes each and every day you must do something totally self indulgent that brings joy. I can often find myself stuck in a cycle of all work and no play, there have been points in my life where even all my fun was prebooked on the calendar weeks or even months in advance. This is not the same as joy. Our definition of joy for this mission is: gladness not based on circumstance. So find time each day to watch the sun rise or set, have a dance party, call a friend, take a walk, snuggle your dog, try new things…whatever brings joy. See how familiar a feeling you can make joy in your life.

Turns out consistency really is key

Lets recap week one…are you making your bed….I had some great conversations with people about this!!

This week were talking routine. This is about more than just what time you go to bed, the truth is this is an exercise in setting and maintaining boundaries for yourself. Can you learn to show up and respect yourself enough to turn off Netflix and go to bed….(uh this is super hard sometimes)….can you remember to nourish yourself each morning with breakfast before starting your day (does coffee count 🤷‍♀️…sadly no)…once you start and realize how good you feel you begin to realize sleeping in on the weekends isn’t the reward you though it was, and rather showing up for yourself is where you find the wins.

Drop a comment or send me a message I wanna hear about your routines and your wins so far this month…where are you building that good momentum and where do you think you need a little push to get going?

Make your damn bed!

Seriously though guys if you wanna boss up you gotta start small, you can’t build without a solid foundation!

Our first week kicks off with adding one simple habit…make your bed…try for first thing as soon as you get up…bonus it keeps you from crawling back in for 5 more minutes!!

The real goal here is all about checking in with our daily habits, are they taking us close to our goals and pushing us further away from them. Taking these one thing at a time until they become automatic builds that solid foundation we are talking about block by block, creating a platform that we can build anything from!!

Learning to be Gentle

First up lets see those vision boards!! I share mine, it was a lot of fun to make and a great way to spend a chilly afternoon snuggled up inside. This time of year we may be thinking a lot about change….let’s remember to be gentle with ourselves as we navigate the areas of ourselves we maybe aren’t so fond of. It takes a long time to develop our habits and lifestyle and changing them takes time as well. Find a balance point that works for you and make that your goal, maybe its 80/20 or maybe 50/50 to start. Allow the space for when life happens, for me this makes it easier to start over again tomorrow. Most important find space for joy and rest!

January 2021 Pose of the Month

Week 1 – Meeting the Posture

Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana

As we continue our yoga journey together this month we will focus on standing forward fold…. This is one of my favorite poses and stretches, I do it often to help relieve tension in my back. And as a foundational pose that is often overlooked during our practice I thought it was the perfect pose to take a deep dive into as we start the new year. This is one of those poses that some days feels better and comes more easily than others so having lots of options to make it accessible like we looked at during our practice this week make it possible to find your way there everyday!

Take a day 1 photo so you can get a good look at where your body really is in this pose, we need that birds eye view to really see where we are in space and where we need to work on things to improve our alignment in the posture, my day one photo is above…. Commit to practicing this pose in some variation each day for the entire month, grab another photo maybe in the middle and again at the end to compare, you can share your photos or not, entirely up to you! You can also keep a journal with your practice and take a moment after each time you hit the mat to jot down what comes up, was today little easier, or maybe a little more challenging, did you not want to spend time today but you did it anyway, could be as simple as just a few words.

My goal here is less about getting better at the pose and more about the journey of the pose throughout the 30 days. No doubt we will improve a posture by practicing everyday, but the practice of yoga is less about the shapes we make in the body and more about what comes up during those shapes. I encourage you to take this time to connect to your body, your mind and your practice in a deeper or at least different way. I am looking forward to taking this journey along with you.

Check out our week one mini practice for some alignment tips and variations and different ways to approach the pose depending on how your body feels each time you show up to practice. Remember just because we can do something today doesn’t always mean its the right thing to do tomorrow, so maybe today I don’t need blocks but maybe tomorrow blocks feel great! Learning to listen to the body is just as much an advance in your practice as is deepening a pose. Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group if you want to catch these classes live!

o

Resolutions are out…Vision Boards are in!!

Tis the season where we all start thinking new years resolutions…although this year I have a sneaking suspicion were all just happy to have made it through! I am not a fan of resolutions at all, but I do think there is a ton of value in sitting down and allowing yourself some space for a little year in review, some time to decide what stays and what goes as we transition into a new year. It’s been a few years since I’ve made one but something made me think vision board, this is a great tool for your year in review and future planning! I’ll share mine once it’s finished and I’d love to see yours if you make one!