Revisit Your Practice.

Important Disclaimer:

The news, suggestions, information, exercises and other items in this list are intended for informational purposes only. Not all exercise is suitable for everyone. To reduce the risk of injury, please consult your Doctor before engaging in any physical and/or therapeutic exercise program. Nothing is intended to be a substitute for professional medical care.

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Guided Tadasana: AUDIO

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #9

Nothing new this week or anything which hasn’t already been explained during this session. Since we haven’t done Shanti! for some time I am attaching a link to the details with stick figures and explanations.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose,  Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Gate, Kneeling Sun Salutations: Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)

Prone on Belly: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical

Prone on Hands and Knees: Another Way of Getting Up! (see previous reviews for details)

Legs on the Chair: Shanti! Shanti!

Miscellaneous:

Music: Barbara Thompson “Songs from the Center of the Earth”

Quote:
Too Often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
-Leo F. Buscaglia (Dr. Love)

Essential Oil: Past Tense from doTerra “the tension release blend”

Misc. Asana Information:

Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:

https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #8

Asanas:

Wall Version – Range of Motion (ROM) Shoulder Series x4
Alternate Nostril Breathing with Ration Options
Yoga for the Eyes
Another Way of Getting Up (Repeated) Just get UP!

Name: Wall Version – Range of Motion (ROM) Shoulder Series x4

Flexion and Extension
1. Start with the arms active by the sides of the body, with the pinkies touching the wall and the palms facing the sides of your body.

2. Inhale to lift both arms skyward, eventually raising them until they are beside the ears. Exhale to lower the arms back down by the sides of the body. Repeat 5-10 times.

Internal and External Rotation
1. Bring the arms out to the sides at shoulder height (doing this standing we have no support of gravity so for most people I would start with the elbows below the line of the shoulders) with the elbows bent at 90 degrees, and the forearms and palm facing forward.

2. With an inhalation, roll with the upper-arms to bring the forearms down toward the floor. Keep the upper arms straight out from the shoulders and the elbows bent at 90 degrees throughout the movement.

3. Exhale to return to the starting position. Roll through the upper-arm bones to bring the back of the hands and the forearms toward the wall. Repeat 5-10 times.

Protraction and Retraction
1. Hold both (can also be done as single arm movement) arms straight toward the center of the room, shoulder-width apart and palms facing each other.

2. Inhale and reach forward, spreading the shoulder blades apart as the shoulders come off the wall. Exhale as the arms retract and the shoulder blades slide back toward the wall and each other, to where you started. Repeat 5-10 times.

Angel Arms
1. Begin with arms next to the body (fingers pointing downward) with the palms facing the room. Begin the Inhale as you roll the shoulders open and slide the arms (keeping wall contact as long as possible) towards the sky as you sweep the arms out to the sides and then up, bringing the hands to touch overhead (if possible). Keep the arms straight as you reach toward the ceiling.

2. Begin the Exhale and reverse the movement by starting with the arms overhead, sweeping them out to the sides as you bring them down next to the body to where you started..

Name: Alternate Nostril Breathing/Nadi Sodhana (meaning purification)/Channel Cleaning Breath/Anuloma Viloma

This practice emerges from yogis’ belief that each nostril is allied with a particular sort of energy.

Breathing through the left nostril is considered to engender feelings of calmness and receptivity, while breathing through the right is associated with feelings of brightness and invigoration.

Alternating between the two is said to promote a balanced, fortified melding of these energies, and a calm and centered mind.

Description:
Step by Step
Sit in a comfortable asana or in a chair as straight as possible, with sitz bones grounded and chest opened out. Breathe freely.

Make the gesture called Vishnu Mudra by curling in the index and middle finger of the right hand so the thumb and fourth finger can be used on either side of the nose to close the nostrils.

1. Inhale/exhale through both nostrils.
2. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb at the sinus bridge.
3. Inhale through your left nostril for the count of four.
4. Close the left nostril with the fourth finger of right hand, exhale through the right nostril, counting to four.
Inhale through the right nostril counting to four.
5. Close the right nostril, exhale through the left nostril counting to four. Inhale through the left nostril
counting to four.
6. Release the right nostril and exhale completely.

This is one sequence, continue for at least 10 breaths or sequences, more if you choose, 2-3 sessions daily for breath maintenance, for health enhancement 4-6 sessions per day.

Check in with your body and mind. Observe the effect this exercise has on you. Do you feel a little more centered and grounded? A little more balanced and at ease, perhaps?

Enjoy the sense of wholeness and well being this classic pranayama practice offers you.

You must first feel comfortable with this breathing technique, then different ratios can be added, deepening the exhalations to twice the length of the inhalations.
Retention of the inhalations can also be developed.

Benefits:
This pranayama strengthens and purifies the lungs, purifies the nadis (energy channels) and increases prana intake.
Stale air is eliminated, as you increase the length of exhalation; retention of inhalation increases oxygen intake.
The breathing pattern also helps calm the nerves and improves circulation.
It is regarded as a general balancer and purifier of the physical and emotional systems. Lowers heart rate and reduces stress and anxiety.

Stilling the breath, stills the mind!

Alternative Hand Positioning:
In Nadi Sodhana you adopt a particular hand position or Mudra.
Place you index and middle fingers in the middle of your forehead, between the eyebrows.
Place you thumb at your right nostril and your ring and little finger on your left nostril.

In this Mudra each finger has a special significance.
The thumb represents the cultivation of will power.
The index finger the “I”, or oneself.
The middle finger, the Absolute or one’s spiritual being.
The ring finger emotional maturity.
The little finger control of the mind.
The juxtaposition of the middle and index fingers symbolized the union of oneself with the Absolute or
pure consciousness.

Breath Ration Chart which can be used with most breathing during a yoga practice:
The idea is to keep your awareness on your breath continuously as you move in and out of each posture.
And depending on whether you want to relax, balance, or energize, you can vary your breathing pattern to get the desired effect.

The following breath ration list shows the ration at the top to be very relaxing, while those at the end are more energizing.
Inhalation/Hold/Exhalation/Hold..Effect
4/1/8/4…Relaxing
4/1/12/1
6/1/10/1
6/1/8/4
8/1/8/1…Balanced
6/2/6/2..Balanced
6/4/6/1…Energizing
6/6/6/1

See how different kinds of breathing can enhance your yoga practice.
Lengthening and then holding your exhalation after all the air is expelled relaxes you, while lengthening and holding your inhalation increases your energy.

Be careful, though – if you’re feeling stressed, you’re better off using a balanced breath pattern, as holding your inhalation can make you more tense.

Name: Yoga for the Eyes

Description:
Sitting comfortable but upright in a chair, feet firmly planted on the floor and possibly using a block either between the knees and/or behind the back to support posture.

Do not move the head and do keep the eyes open. Challenge yourself.

1. Think of sitting in front of ‘Big Ben”. As you repeat to yourself numbers, in and out of sequential order, slower and faster, as you follow with the eyes. Be creative.

With the right arm extended straight in front, concentrate on the thumb and you switch your focus from thumb to distance. Back and forth a number of times. Repeat with the left arm.

3. With the right arms still extended straight in front of you. Keeping the eyes focused directly in front of you. Slowly track the arm as far as you can to the right, keeping it straight, and following the thumb in your peripheral vision. Do not let the eyes follow the thumb. Returning an inch or so when you can see the thumb, wave it is necessary, going back and forth slowly until returning in back to the first position. Repeat with the left arm.

Name: Another Way of Getting Up or Just get UP!

Simplification in getting up, but to get there, takes practice.

Each time it will become easier and you will learn what is possible and what is not, take it slow.

Description:
The following is what we have done in class this week:

1. Begin Prone on all fours, making sure that you are not too far apart but yet wide enough and feet shoulder width. Curls the toes under.

2. Lift the knees a few inches off the floor. Hold if you can for a moment, strength building.

3. Take the buttocks towards the heels and arms long/shoulder back, stay low as if you were in a Child’s Pose but keep the knees off the mat, try not to move the hands. If Child’s Pose is not for you, come slightly up to Puppy.

4. Continue to Down Dog.

5. Sink into the feet (keep them wide), bend the knees as much as you need to as you walk/slide the hands back to the feet.

6. Remain here a moment as you firmly ground yourself being before reaching out to the sides and coming up to a full Standing Mountain Pose. Be sure to lead with ‘the heart’ and let the head follow so you don’t become dizzy.

7. Ending with hands at the heart and then reversing the movements until you are Prone again on the mat.

Be mindful that the breath is in tune with the movements.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose,  Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Kneeling Sun Salutations: Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)

Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical

Prone to Standing/Balance: Another Way of Getting Up! or Just Get UP!

Standing: Alternative Wall Version of the Shoulder Series x4

Sitting: Alternate Nostril Breathing and Yoga for the Eyes

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Miscellaneous:

Music: Temple of Healing – New Age

Quote: LaLanneisms by The Godfather of Fitness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_LaLanne

-Your health account is your wealth account.
-Your waistline is your lifeline.
-Exercise is King, Nutrition is Queen, put the together and you have a Kingdom.
-Don’t exceed the feed line.
-The food we eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.
-Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.
-Better to wear out than rust out.
-I can’t die, it would ruin my image.

Essential Oil: doTerra “Citrus Bliss” (look for separate mailing with details of this essential oil)

Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:

https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #7

Asanas:

Hips, Legs & Strap (Cobblers, Happy Baby/Dead Bug, Wide Open & Together)
Range of Motion (ROM) Shoulder Series x4 (scroll down and see WR-#3 from this session for details)
Seated Forward Fold with Strap
Boat/Navasana (Variations + Photos on Website)
Another Way of Getting Up

Name: Hips, Legs & Strap (Cobblers, Happy Baby/Dead Bug, Wide Open & Together)

Cobblers Pose:
1.  Supine on your mat. Strap over the feet.

2.  Bend the knees outward and bring the heels towards the groin, toes facing the ceiling.

3.  Walk the hands up the strap to the feet, comes as close as is possible but still keeping the head and shoulders on the mat.

4.  Eventually the hands may wrap around the feet.

5.  Be there, enjoy the stretch and breathe, keep grounded from the low back to the head.

Cobblers pose can be done sitting free on the mat or sitting with back against the wall.

Happy Baby/Dead Bug:
1.  From Cobbler Pose try to keep the knees open and bring the heels over the knees with the bottoms of the feet facing the ceiling.

2.  Strap is over the bottoms of the feet, arms are long and inside the legs with the elbows keeping the knees open.

3. Think of bringing the knees towards the floor but keeping the feet over the knees.

4.  Eventually the hands are holding the feet on the outside or the Yogi toe lock.

Enjoy the opening of the hips, the stretch is powerful but be mindful not to over due.
Can slowly rock from side to side.
Keep the head and shoulders firmly down as well as the back.

Wide Open & Together:
1.  From Happy Baby, let the strap slide through the hands until the legs are wide and as straight as possible, always trying to bring them more towards your upper body.

2.  Walk the hands as close to the feet as possible today, tomorrow may bring more.

3.  Bring the legs together and straight with the strap still over the feet and the arms long and straight.

All of the above in this sequence can be done often and slowly with proper breathing.

We are addressing the soft tissue of the hip girdle for more range of motion and mobility.

Working in small increments over a longer period of time and as often as possible.

A good series to do at home between classes! One for the Yogi Tool Box.

Name: Seated Forward Fold with Strap Symetrical-Both/A-Symetrical-Single/Wide

1.Sitting on your mat with the knees bent (degree depends on tightness of Hamstrings-legs are never straight don’t forget at the micro-bend for the safety of the lower back).

2.  Strap is over the feet. Arms are bent with the elbows near the waist reminding us to sit up and reach with the chest, not the head.

3.  Engage the core, lift the rib cage, take the shoulders back and slightly squeeze the shoulder blades, do not arch the back but broaden and lift. Open!

4.  Do not roll back on your sitz bones, stay on them or slightly forward.

5.  If you feel the space you can slowly bring the belly towards the thighs but do not compromise any of the above suggestions.

This asana can also be done with legs up on the wall, especially if the upper torso is sitting behind the hips.

This is when the seated version can be too much of a strain on the body and I would suggest the wall version.

I am not a fan of the seated version as one has a tendency to put the back in a rounded position and by being supine on the mat you have a flat back already and can not compromise your intentions.

Variations:
1.  Single leg with strap over right foot and left left bent and bottom of foot somewhere between the ankle and groin on the inside of the right leg, depending upon how you knee feels.

2.  Long straight arms holding the strap, then bending the elbows and bringing then towards the waist as you face the extended leg and reach with the belly towards the thigh.

3.  The extended leg can be slightly bend (at least a micro bend) and as wide and the relating side of your mat.

4.  Do the same on both legs.

5.  Then place the strap on the bottom of both feet and open them wide. Please do pay attention to the suggestion above regarding the upper torso.

6.  If it is too difficult to sit up straight you can also take your arms behind and wider than the body with the palms on the mat, fingers facing back. With this you will be able to help lift the upper torso.

Name: Boat/Navasana

Seated Boat Pose strengthens your abdomen, lower back and hips, while stretching the back of your legs. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can help protect your lower back and spine.

This pose is also beneficial for improving your balance. Despite the effort and many actions involved, finding stability in this posture can hep calm and align your body, mind and emotions.

Good pose for developing overall stamina.

Description: Full standard version.

1. Begin in seated Staff Pose/Dandasana and  place your hands on the floor slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your feet. Life your chest toward the ceiling as you lean back slightly. Make sure your back/spine remain straight. Lift your chest towards the ceiling as you lean back slightly.

2. Bend your knees and place your feet together, flat on the floor, thighs should be at a 45 degree angle with the floor then come up on your toes.

3. Lift your feet one or two inches off the floor(maybe one at a time), keeping your feet/legs together or slightly apart. Then lift higher until shins are parallel to the floor (can then hold on to the back of the thighs with your hands).

4. Balance between your sit bones and your tailbone.

5. Inhale and slowly release the hold and straighten the arms parallel to the floor, displaying your fingers on either side of your hips.

6. If you want more of a challenge you can begin to straighten the legs until the tips of your toes are slightly above your eye level keeping the arms at shoulder height, parallel to the floor.

Relax and keeping the shoulders down from your ears, opening across your back. lift at the heart center.

Check the stomach muscles, make sure that have not tensed, breath and draw the belly button back towards the spine while lifting the chest.

Lengthen the back of your neck by slightly tilting the chin toward the chest.
Hold and breath. Visualize the body forming a V shape.

Physical Benefits:  Builds core strength. Improves balance, digestion, and circulation. Strengthens the legs, hips, groin, abdomen and arms. Lengthens the spine and neck.

Opens the chest, shoulders and throat. Improves posture especially better sitting posture. Stimulates the kidney, thyroid, prostate and the intestines.

Can be beneficial for Sciatica, lumbago, colitis, constipation, irregular menstrual cycle and lethargy.

Mental Benefits: Improves concentration and develops focus.

Counter Pose: Forward fold either seated or supine/Knees to Chest/Apanasana

Adaptations/Variations:
1. Stretching the inner thighs can be done by separating the legs until they form a V shape.

2. A very basic adaptation is with the forearms on the mat next to the body, palms down,  with the elbows slightly behind the line of the shoulders.

3. Holding the legs slightly below the knees.

4. One can also use a strap over the feet held with the hands and straight arms.

5. Can be done sitting on a cushion or in a chair (see website).

Contraindication: May need to be avoided if you have a heart condition or insomnia as this pose can be stimulating. Pregnancy (keep knees bent). Neck or low back pain / injury (keep knees bent). Low blood pressure and menstruation.

Name: Another Way of Getting Up

Simplification in getting up, but to get there, takes practice.

Each time it will become easier and you will learn what is possible and what is not, take it slow.

The following is what we have done in class this week:

1. Begin Prone on all fours, making sure that you are not too long apart but yet wide enough, feet shoulder width. Curls the toes under.

2. Lift the knees a few inches off the floor. Hold if you can for a moment, strength building.

3. Take the buttocks towards the heels and arms long, stay low as if you were in a Child’s Pose but off the mat except for hands and toes. If Child’s Pose is not for you, come slightly up and stretch back to Puppy.

4. Continue to Down Dog.

5. Sink into the feet (keep them wide), bend the knees as much as you need to as you walk/slide the hands back to the feet.

6. Remain here a moment as you firmly ground your being before reaching both arms out to the sides and coming up to a full Standing Mountain Pose. Be sure to lead with ‘the heart’ and let the head follow so you don’t become dizzy.

7. Ending with hands at the heart and then reversing the movements until you are Prone again on the mat.

Be mindful that the breath is in tune with the movements.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Legs & Straps x4 (Cobblers, Happy Baby/Dead Bug, Wide Open & Together)

Shoulder Series x4 (scroll down and see WR-#3 from this session for details-A good series to do at home between classes! One for the Yogi Tool Box.)

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose,  Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Kneeling Sun Salutations: Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)

Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical

Sitting: Seated Forward Fold with Strap (Symetrical-Both/A-Symetrical-Single/Wide), Boat x4

Prone to Standing/Balance: Another Way of Getting Up!

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

 

Miscellaneous:

Music: Gary Stadler “Yoga Moods”

Quote: The Dhammapada of Gautama The Buddha ca: 500BC

“In all things be a master of what you do and what you say and think. Be free.”

The following words are from Osho, a small piece of a greater view.
Man can be divided into four parts.
The outermost circumference consists of action, what you do.
The second layer, a little deeper than your action, consists of your saying, what you say. A little deeper, the third layer consists of your thinking, what you constantly think.
And the fourth is not a layer; the fourth is your reality your being.
That is your center, the center of the cyclone. Your center, your being is surrounded by three concentric circles: thinking, saying, doing.
Are you aware of what you are doing?
Are you doing it consciously or subconsciously, just following the crowd as an imitator or being an initiator and a leader?
Don’t be like sheep, be individual. Only then can you be a master as only individuals can be masters……..

When reading Osho in this passage he further explains that he refers to a ‘crowd’ as sheep or slaves.

Essential Oil: doTerra “Breathe” (look for separate mailing with details of this essential oil)

Misc. Asana Information:

Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:

https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #6

Asanas:

Effective Neck Stretching – Static vs. Movement
Short Practice: 8 Basic Postures

Name: Effective Neck Stretching: Static vs. Movement

If your neck muscles are tense, attempting to stretch them is similar to trying to pry open a clenched fist – it will be uncomfortable and ineffective.

When we are dealing with tight muscles, movement is the answer, as opposed to holding your head
statically.

When you pump the blood into your muscles by contracting and then relaxing them, you bring nourishment to the area, developing muscle tone and making the muscles more elastic. As a result your muscles are able to relax better, which leads to tension release.

We cannot think of the neck, head and upper back as three separate entities. They function more like a tree trunk with the roots and the crown. Just like a tree needs to have an extensive root system to support the weight of the trunk and the crown, your neck requires extensive muscular connections to the rib cage, thoracic spine and shoulder girdle to support the weight of the head and allow for incredible mobility.

So if we want to increase circulation to the neck, we really cannot do it effectively without including the upper body, which means moving the thoracic spine and the shoulder girdle.

That’s why more complex movements that include the movement of the head, thoracic spine and the shoulder girdle (via the movement of the arms) will be more effective in releasing tension in your neck and upper back.

Description: all movement is done in conjunction with the breath.

1. Flexion/Extension – ex: Cat n Cow
ex: Sitting or Standing – Place the hands on each other with palms facing up in your lap or at the belly, with this the chin is on the chest. On an inhale, with the chin slower rising forward and towards the ceiling (it is not necessary to go to far in looking up), move the arms as if they were a flower opening with the elbows mid-torso height, hands above and more open while squeezing the shoulders blades towards each other, puffing out the chest. Exhale return to starting.
ex: the above can also be done while doing Warrior I beginning with a straight leg when the hands are low and bending the knee as you open the arms.

2. Rotation
ex: On knees, reaching out and up with the arms, sinking to Child’s pose and turning the head in one direction and taking the extended arms back and placing them on the lower back.. Repeat and turn the head to the other direction.
ex: Sitting on a chair (or in the car). Placing the right hand behind and taking the left hand to the outside of the right knee, creating a torque/tension as you twist the entire body from hips to head to the right and look over the right shoulder. While keeping the twist turn the head to the left, pause and return it to the right shoulder as if you are looking out the read window of your car. Repeat on the other side.

3. Lateral Flexion
ex: Sitting in a chair, release the right ear towards the right shoulder, you can hold on to the sides of the chair for security. Take the left arm and reach over the body towards the right side, hold and breath. Repeat on the other side.
ex: The above movement can be done while doing Side Angle Bend.

4. Combined Rotation and Lateral Flexion
ex: Sitting in a chair or standing. Reach up with the right arm and let the head follow the right hand also looking up, then take the nose to the right arm pit, continue with the chin sweeping the chest until you are looking at your left shoulder and hand which the left hand is reaching to the floor. Return on the same path to the start.
ex: A more intense version of the above would be to reach over the body with the extended arm and again follow the same path. This involves the thoracic spine to a much greater detail.
ex: Triangle and Side Angle Pose with movement.

I would follow these movement with shoulder rolls, forward and backward, single and both together, small and large. Let the arms hand hand and just go along for the ride.

Name: Short Practice: 8 Basic Postures

The following is a suggestion if you would like to enjoy a 10-15 minute short yoga practice. I would warm up with the above neck release suggestion, adding a few hip circles and maybe walking in place for a minute.

Most of the poses are held for three breaths with an emphasis on elongating the exhale.

Description:

1. Standing Mountain Pose (Tadasana) tall and firm, well grounded.

2. Standing Forward Fold (Padahastasana) with the knees slightly bent, forward folding and releasing.
(if you would like to add something here you can do a series of FF and Half-Way Ups with the hands on the shins, fingertips on the floor, or using a chair)

3. Sitting in a chair. Cross one leg with the outside of the ankle on the opposite thigh, near the knee. Let the elbow/forearm rest on the crossed leg to give the message for the hip to open and relax. You can take the moment to massage your foot, talk on the phone or read, if you must. Switch Sides.

4. Sitting in a chair. Single leg hamstring stretch with right leg straight and extended, foot flexed. Forward fold/hinging at the hip cradle bringing the belly forward either towards the right thigh or into a space between the legs (this is easier). Take the left forearm and lay it on the left thigh while you massage the right leg with the right hand where you are feeling the stretch.

You can also sit up straight with a strap around the extended foot, elbows at the waist and work your way into a forward fold gently and slowly.
Switch sides and stay for 1-2 minutes in each stretch.

5. Prone: Cat and Cow (Marjarisana)

6. Belly: Cobra (Bhujangasana)

7. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

8. Relaxation Pose Supine: Savasana

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose,  Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Kneeling Sun Salutations: Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow) Hands under Hips Thigh Lifts R/L Both, Cobra x6

Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical

Standing/Balance: Mountain Pose, Forward Fold

Chair: Effective Neck Stretching, Hip Opening with crossed leg R/L, Hamstring Stretch R/L

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Miscellaneous:

Music: Deuter “Sattva Temple Trance”

Quote:
“Avoiding problems you need to solve is avoiding the life you need to live.” -Paul Coelho
Brazilian novelist, writer and lyricist.
Often known for his book “The Alchemist” which has been translated into 80 languages and is now the most translated book in the world by any living author.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Coelho

Essential Oil: doTerra “Lemongrass” (look for separate mailing with details on this essential oil)

The Living Temple, here in OWV, is offering a free screening on “The Ancient Secrets of Essential Oils” covering the history, medical research and existing possibilities for using essential oil in our modern times.
I highly recommend having a look if you can put it on your schedule for Thursday August 16th, from 7-8:30pm.
Here is the link to The Living Temple website: https://thelivingtemple.com/

Miscellaneous. Asana Information:

Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:

https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #5

Guided Tadasana: AUDIO

Asanas:

Bridge/Pigeon Alternatives (explained in previous reviews)
Dead Bug Static and Flowing Series
Balance poses on one-leg at wall.
Palm Tree

Name: Dead Bug Static and Flowing Series

Description:
This short core-awakening series pairs pelvis stability with hip and shoulder mobility. Always keeping the core engaged.

1. Start the explorations with the knees bent at 90 degrees. Once you are able to maintain pelvis stability in the movements with the legs bent, you can make this series more challenging with the alternative, but begin with the Static Hold and work up to 2 minutes.
Start in a reclined position with the knees bent and feet on the mat.
Reach the arms toward the ceiling.
Pick one foot off the floor at a time.
Align the thighbones over the pelvis (perpendicular to the mat)
and the shins lined up with the knees (parallel to the mat).
Hold for 30-60 seconds working up to 2 minutes.

2. Start in the basic position: Bent Knees and Straight legs.
Inhale to bring the left leg down toward the floor without touching and the right arm up toward the right ear.
This is a hovering position but I suggest to begin with the big toe touching the floor and the thumb, on the overhead arm/palming facing toward mid-line, touching the floor.
Exhale to bring the arm and leg back to the starting position.
Repeat, alternating from side to side 5-10 times.

3. Start in the basic position with straight legs: Side Reaching
Inhale to bring the right arm out to the right side and left leg out to the left side.
Keep the abdomen engaged and extend only as far out and down as you ca while maintaining equal weight in the pelvic.
Exhale touring the arm and leg back to the starting position.
Repeat, moving from side to side 5-10 times.

4. Start in the basic position with straight legs: Circles-Same side and opposite.
Circle the right arm and the left hip at the same time, drawing circles on the ceiling, focusing on keeping the movement small and in the shoulder and hip sockets.
Repeat 5-10 times, moving the opposite arm and leg at the same time, and then move in the opposite direction.
Next move the arm and leg in the opposite directions (arm circles to the right and leg circles to the left.
Repeat on the opposite partnered sides.

Name: Balance Poses – Elements of Balance

Balance is important in your everyday activities, not only in your yoga class. Whenever you lose your balance, the quicker you can regain it, the safer your movement will be.

Every year 2.8 million older Americans are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. It is unclear exactly how man of those falls lead to death, but the loss of quality life or potential for diminished capacity of movement after recovery is significant for many people. That means that proactively importing your balance and increasing your proprioception may actually improve your overall quality of life along with prolonging life itself.

To successfully practice balance, you also have to explore falling. I suggest that you play with falling indifferent ways out of balance poses so the balancing becomes a practice of embracing the knowledge the you can fall skillfully and them develop the ability to actually do so.

Additional benefits of a balance practice include developing focus and concentrating along with a quieter mind. The self-awareness brought about through a regular balance practice is invaluable, especially as you translate your understanding into daily activities.

Balancing poses offer immediate feedback of how the mind-body connection works. If the mind-body complex is disturbed at any level, the instability of that disturbance is immediately reflected back to you i your experience of the pose. When these types of disturbances arise, the practices of identifying, differentiating, an integrating become important components.

Apply what you learn about yourself to enhancing your overall life balance. Be compassionate with yourself as you continue to explore new challenges in – your balancing and falling – practice in daily life.

Description:

From standing (legs hip width apart is important) in mountain pose (in front of a wall with arms outstretched or next to a wall) bend the right knee, be on your right toes and slide the toes forward a few inches, lift the toes off the mat. Keeping your arms by your side or if you need to secure yourself place the fingertips on the wall. Pay attention to the ankle and foot of the standing leg as you begin to explore your balance.
What parts of the foot are more or less connected to the ground?
How much does the ankle more or not move?
Do you find your ‘foundation/triangle” on the bottom of your foot?
Is the foot and ankle rigid and tight or fluid and responsive?
Switch sides and repeat…..

2. Next exaggerate the movement of the ankle and foot of the standing leg, let them wobble from side to side a bit. Pay attention to the muscles on both sides of the ankle and lower legs.
Can you sense how they adapt with a quick-fire response to this  challenge?
Now try to make the ankle and foot completely rigid and still, what changes?
Try to establish an equilibrium between rigidity and fluidity.
Switch side and repeat….

3. Now play with falling out of the one-footed balance, bent leg only first then torso.
Try falling forward, backward and sideways.
Return to holding the balance.
Now play with circling the torso.
How far can you lose your balance and still bring yourself back to upright?
How does having strategies of falling affect your experience of holding the pose?

4. Start to play with the arm positions as you balance on one foot.
Hands 6 inches from the hips, palms facing forward.
Palms together at heart center.
Reaching up with forgiving limbs above the head.
What information do these arm positions give you about where you  body is in space?
Do certain positions find your balance more or less easily than others?

5. Shift the balance exploring with your eyes.
Find your drishti, a single spot at the level of the horizon to softly gaze at.
Shift the eyes only, do not move the head, up to the ceiling, down to the floor and right to left.
Now do the same with the head also moving with the eyes.
How does introducing these focal points change your experience of balancing?
Do you notice that with each head movement your balance is challenged?

6. Now close the eyes completely. Notice how the body overs as it loses the sense of sight to tell it where it is in space.
Eventually start to use the arms and legs instead of the eyes of help gather your balancing information.
It may seem impossible at the beginning, but with practice you can develop or refine your ability to balance, even with your eyes closed.

Name: Palm Tree

Description:
Start standing with the feet hip-width apart, arms straight out in front of the body at shoulder height and spine in active neutral.
You can put the finger tips on the wall, but refrain from leaning forward or backwards.

1. Start: Lift the heels of both feet of the floor and balance on the balls of the feet. Hold for 30-60 seconds. To exit the pose, slowly lower the heels back to the floor.

2. Narrow base: bring the feet and legs together to touch before lifting the heels off the ground.

3. Hips externally rotated: start at a narrow base with the feet on the ground. Moe the hips to rotate date heels toward the midline and bring the toes slightly pouting out before lifting the heels off of the ground.

4. Block or ball: Hold a small exercise ball or yoga block between the upper thighs, squeezing it through the movement and hold. Also squeeze the buttocks.

5. Additional options which we did NOT do in class:
Twisting, Side Bending, Backbending….

General Class:



Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.
Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose,  Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat,
Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Supine: Dead Bug Series Static and Flowing, Bridge and Pigeon Alternative Series
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical
Standing/Balance: Elements of Balance, Palm Tree

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Miscellaneous:

Essential Oil: doTerra “Peppermint”

Music: Relaxing Piano by Billy McLaughlin

Quote:
3 Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. -Albert Einstein

1. Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:
https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #4

Guided Tadasana: AUDIO

Spine, Hips and Lower Extremities – Core Stability

Compared to the upper extremities, which are built for mobility and relationships, the lower extremities are built for weight bearing, locomotion and stability. The problem with the hips is that they tend to be too stable. They become tight/stiff, we lose mobility and end up with arthritis and other problems, eventually leading to surgery, hip replacements, or problems in the knees, ankles and feet.

In addition, the angle that the head of the femur (the ball of the ball and socket hip joint) connects to the pelvis can vary greatly, this means there is a vast person-to-person difference in hip mobility. This partly has to do with how the lower extremities develop.

Hip poses we do: Camel, Gate, Warrior 1 & 2, Triangle, Squat, Alternative Pigeon.

Think of: Engaging the glutes, the large gluteal muscles produce power. Most people do not put themselves in situations where they have to use lots of power to extend the hips. Instead they use the hamstrings. You know if you are engaging the hamstrings instead of the gluten if your hamstrings cramp while you are doing bridge. Try to engage the glutes first. Your hamstrings will thank you. Just remember G comes before H in the alphabet.

EXPLORATION

Activating the Glutes
Do all the following from a face down position, place the hands on top of each other and let your forehead rest on them.

1. Bend the knees and flex the feet. Keeping equal weight in the front of the pelvis, squeeze the left buttock to lift the lower part of the thigh off the ground and slowly lower it back down, Focus on control and fluid activation rather than height. Repeat on the right side and alternate sides for a count of 10 on each side.

2 . Bend the knees and bring them out toward the edge of the mat with the heels touching. Squeeze the glutes to lift the knees and the lower part of the thighs off the mat. Do not lift the upper part of the body off the mat. I suggest you engage the core/belly first to protect the lower back. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if nothing lifts, concentrate and keep at it until it happens. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times.

3. Extend the legs straight behind you. Initiate the action of lifting the left leg by focusing on the place where the bottom of the left buttock meets the upper thigh. Lift and pause. Repeat on the right side. Alternate side to side for a count of 10 on each side. As mentioned in #1 keep the weight equal in the front of the pelvis and do not lift a hip or roll to the side.

Pelvis and Spine Series
This series focuses on moving the pelvis and asks you to pay attention to the relationship between the entire spine and the floor as you move. After feeling comfortable in the reclining position with the knees bent and feet on the mat, you can also try them with the legs straight or the soles of the feet together and the knees opened out to the side. See how the different hip positions change your experience.

1. Posterior and Anterior Tilt
Inhale to slowly roll the front of the pelvis toward the feet/anterior tilt, creating space between the low back and the floor. Exhale to roll the front of the pelvis toward the head/posterior tilt, connecting the low back to the floor. Repeat 5-10 times.

2. Core Engagement with the Strap
Using your strap, place it under your back at the top of the buttocks (about where the dimples would be if you have them). Take the strap in both hands with the arms as much as possible on the mat. Engage the posterior tilt/core belly and push down on the strap so you would not be able to pull it to the right or left. The engagement should be so strong that the strap does not move as hard as you trip to pull. Do not pull up but out trying each side. Gradually as you succeed, move the strap (strap width) up the back until it is slightly above the waist line/belly button. You will find it becomes progressively harder as it move upward. This little work will give you an idea of true core engagement.

2. Side to Side
Exhale to shift weight into the right side of the pelvis as the left side begins to lift away from the ground but don’t actually lift it. Inhale back to center. Exhale to shift weight to left side of the pelvis, allowing the right side to begin slightly lifting. Repeat 5-10 times, moving from side to side.

3. Circular (Down and Flashlight)
Visualize a circle under your low back, the bottom of the circle at the tip of the sacrum and the top of the circle under the navel, right and left your hips. Move the pelvis forward, backward, and sideways to trace the imaginary circle. Repeat 5-10 times and then trace the circle in the opposite direction.

Switch the focus to the front of the body by visualizing that you are drawing a circle on the ceiling with a flashlight in your navel. How does the movement or awareness change when you focus on the front instead of the back of the body? Now play with making your circle smaller or larger, noticing how that changes the movement for you.

Spine Series – Bridge/Cat & Cow/Cobra

Spinal articulation from a supine, kneeling and belly-down position.
Perform the movements slowly while visualizing each vertebra as a pearl on a string, each pearl moving when it is ready. As you explore, see whether you can focus on creating a fluid quality of movement in the spine as you come in and out of the shapes.

1. Bridge
Start in a reclined position with the knees bent, feet on the mat, arms by the sides of the body, and palms down while pressing lightly into the mat. Bring the feet hip-width apart, heels under the knees with a block between the knees.
Inhale to roll the front of the pelvis toward the head and pick it up off the ground. Continue the movement into the mid-spine, allowing each vertebra to lift off the ground, one after the other. Stop the articulation when the pelvis is in line with the thighbones. Think of the buttocks as the first pearl, and not to forget the order of firing the muscles, buttocks first and then begin the lift.
Exhale to reverse the movement, starting with the mid spine back down the ground. As you land, let the front of the pelvis roll toward the feet and create a small space between the low back and the floor. Repeat 5-10 times.
If you want to do more you can stay up in the bridge and at the same time either lift a heel up or the entire foot 1 inch off the mate, feel the engagement happening. Try one heel first before you progress to both heels so you can really feel the work. You can also walk the feet a few inches away from the buttocks and lift the toes, one foot and then the other before both.
You can continue to a one time hold in the elevated position with the arms either in steeple or the isometric push down with the elbows bend. Always follow a bridge with a forward fold, hugging the bent legs into the body with the arms rapped around the shins.

2. Cat-Cow
Position yourself on all fours with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Keep space between the knees.
Exhale to roll the pelvis under the body, continuing the movement into the mid-spine and neck, slowly articulating into roundness. Press the hands into the floor to help spread the shoulder lades apart at the tope o the movement.
Inhale to reverse the articulation, slowly articulating the pelvis, mid spine and head in the opposite direction into a back bend. Repeat 5-10 times.
We continued in class with Balancing Cat R/L.

3. Cobra Articulation
Start in a belly-down position with the leg straight behind the body. Bend the elbows and bring them in line with the torso, lightly pressing the palms into the mat with the fingertips in line with the shoulders.
Inhale to lift the breastbone, slowly peeling the front of the body off the ground, keeping the neck in line with the rest of the spine.
Hold and then lift the hands an inch off the mat. Pause then exhale to slowly articulate the front of the body down to the mat. Repeat 5-10 times.

Reclining: Foot, Leg and Hip Series

In this series we will focus on pairing different ankle and hip movements with core stability. As you explore keep equal weight in the pelvis, both buttocks on the ground, activating the core and maintaining pelvis stability as you move through the hip joint. We did this series with the strap but you can also do it hands free, I believe the strap is more demanding.

1.Plantarflexion and Dorsiflexion
Start in a reclined position with both knees bent and both feet on the mat. Bring the left knee in toward the chest and place a yoga strap across the ball of the left foot, holding each end with a hand. Draw the strap taut as you raise the left leg toward the ceiling. Keep the shoulders relaxed and supported on the mat.
Articulate through the ankle as you point the foot away from the shin/plantar flexion into the light resistance of the strap, and bring the foot toward the shin/dorsiflexion with the assistance of the strap. Repeat 5-10 times.

2. Ankle and Hip Circles
Keep the strap where it is, continue to pull it taut. Circle the ankle into the feedback of the strap, exploring how the pointing, flexing, and sis-to side action come together to crate the feeling of circling. Repeat 5-10 circles in each direction.

Moving the strap to the arch of the foot, continuing to pull it lightly. Focus on where the thighbone connects to the pelvis. Us the strap to guide a small circular hip action, maintaining equal weight in the pelvis as you move. Repeat 5-10 time and then switch directions.

3. Inversion and Eversion
Keep the strap on the arch of the foot, roll the ankle sideways, bring the outside of the foot toward the outer edge of the right leg as the inside of the foot comes away from the inside of the leg/eversion. Hold and feel the work happening in the leg, you can also slightly move the leg to feel more stretching.
Return to center and bring the inside edge of the foot toward the inner leg line and the outside of the foot away from the ousted elf the leg/inversion.
Repeat a few times on each side, slowly moving and holding to you can feel the intensity of the stretch.

Leg-Stretch Variation with Strap

This series can be short and just deal with the hamstrings or you can go farther and deeper into the possible stretches. Always be careful of the back as some of these moves become a twist unless you keep the sacrum and lower back firmly planted on the mat. As each leg goes across or opens you can also keep the strap taut and keep bringing the leg more towards your body, this becomes a mighty hamstring stretch. Never lock the knee, always keep a minimal/soft bend which is hardly noticeable.

1.  Supine with the right leg reaching skyward with the strap over the arch, left leg is straight on the mat securely keeping contact if you do not have a back issue. If the back is an issue please bend the leg as needed. As the right leg goes from bent to straight stop straightening the knee when you start to feel the hamstring stretch in the back of the leg. Pause there for a few breaths without trying to straighten or draw the leg closer to the chest. Holding both straps with the right hand. Hold for 1-2 minutes just feeling the stretch and how far you can go in the stretch.

Pain it is not gain, be mindful of all movements.

2.  Pull the strap taut to support the weight of the leg against gravity and open the leg 3-5 inches to the right of the belly button, hold. This is a hamstring stretch. Continue releasing as you desire, going slow and stopping when it becomes too much. Do not allow the leg to touch the floor hold it up with the elbow on the mat. Always being mindful that the other side of the body stays in touch with the mat, do not let it lift.
Engage the core and with the help of the arm and leg, bring the right leg back to center, switch hands on the strap and cross over the bellybutton/mid-line 3-5 inches for a hamstring stretch, hold and breath. Continue the descent of the leg while lifting the right hip but keep the right shoulder on the mat. Again engage and use the arm and leg to come back to center.
Switch strap to left leg over the arch and repeat.

We finished most classes this week with a few Chair Sun Salutations and then in some classes continued to Standing Sun Salutations. The cobwebs cleared very quickly so I believe most students have these in their memory for quick retrieving. Congratulations. Plus they looked good!

General Class:


Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together)
(See Listing above for details of the class)
Chair: Sun Salutations (also standing)
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “Forgive” the Renewing Blend -Spruce, Bergamot, Juniperberry, Myrrh, Noutka Tree, Arborvitae Wood Oil, Thyme, Citronella
Helps to counteract emotions of anger and guilt while promoting the liberating feeling of contentment, relief and patience.
Please see my weekly newsletter for more details. It will also cover Deep Blue from last week since it was ‘baby arrival’ week and I didn’t get to do it.

Music: Deuter “Reike Healing”
Quote: Whatever the present moment contains accept it as if you had chosen it. -Eckhart Tolle

Miscellaneous: 
1. Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:
https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

2. Printable link to Attunement / warm-up for all general classes.

This is the first section of each class, explained in detail, which we usually repeat every week.

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #3

Guided Tadasana: AUDIO

Some key points regarding the shoulders and upper extremities:

This area normally does not do weight bearing. Usually, we hold weight only on the lower extremities and anatomically the lower extremities are built for stability , locomotion and weight training.

The upper extremities, on the other hand, are built for mobility and relationships with other, ex: shaking hands.

In yoga we bear weight on the upper extremities and at the same time asking to move through the full range of motion (ROM) of the shoulders in overhead movements.

Most of us do not go through the full range of motion during daily activities. We probably don’t even raise our arms above our shoulder height or 90 degrees.

A few tips to protect the shoulders:

1.   Align the shoulders with the elbows and wrist. Determine where you feel the most stable when bearing weight  on the upper extremities.
2.  Us your core muscles to pull away from the floor as you stabilize your arms and push your hands into the floor. You need stability in the shoulder blades and the central core in order to be able to protect the upper extremities in an asana.
3. The sense of stability comes from the shoulder blades. Set the shoulder blades before you start full weight bearing on the upper extremities. In general, you should hold the shoulder blades slightly down and in toward the thoracic spine.

Exploration:  Shoulder Stabilization

1.  In a facedown position, place your forehead on a very small rolled/folded towel. Arms are by your sides and slightly away from the body with the palms facing up.

Keep your upper back and neck relaxed as you squeeze the bottom of the scapulas(shoulder blades) down the back, then in toward each other (in their pockets) as you lift your arms off of the ground.

Hold for a count of five. Repeat three times.

2.  Starting in the same facedown position, bring the arms to shoulder height in a goalpost/cactus shape with the palms on the ground.

Keep your upper back and neck relaxed as you squeeze the bottom of each scapula down the back and then toward each other:

a) as you lift the arms off the ground

b) now lift and draw the bent elbows in toward the body

c) now lift and draw the hands toward each other until the fingers touch over the head.

These are three different versions, each to be done separately, keeping the 90 degree angle at the elbow, forearm/wrist/hand a straight as possible. Held for a count of five and each repeated three times.

3.  Starting in the same face down position, extend the arms straight in front of you/up over head with the palms down on the ground.

Keep your upper back and neck relaxed as you squeeze the bottom the scales down the back and then in toward each other as you lift the arms off the ground.

Hold for a count of five. Repeat three times.

Exploration:  Range of Motion (ROM) Supine Shoulder Series
You can perform this series from a reclined position with the knees bent and feet on the floor or reclined with the legs straight. Most of this series can also be done standing with back contact to the wall but in this position you do not have gravity on your side.

Flexion and Extension
1. Start with the arms active by the sides of the body, a few inches off the ground with the palms facing the floor.

2. Inhale to lift both arms skyward, eventually raising them until they are beside the ears. Exhale to lower the arms back down by the sides of the body. Repeat 5-10 times.

 Internal and External Rotation
1. Bring the arms out to the sides at shoulder height with the elbows bent at 90 degrees, and the forearms and palm facing the wall in from of you.

2. With an inhalation, roll through the upper-arms bones to bring the forearms down toward the floor. Keep the upper arms straight out from the shoulders and the elbows bent at 90 degrees throughout the movement.

3. Exhale to return to the starting position. Roll through the upper-arm bones to bring the hands towards the ears and the forearms toward the ceiling. Repeat 5-10 times.

Protraction and Retraction
1. Reach arms straight toward the ceiling, shoulder-width apart and palms facing each other.

2. Inhale and reach toward the ceiling, spreading the shoulder blades apart. Exhale as the shoulder blades slide back toward the floor and each other. Repeat 5-10 times.

Angel Arms
1. Begin with arms beside the body, and a few inches off of the floor with the palms facing towards the ground. Roll the shoulders open and palms towards the sky as you sweep the arms out to the sides and then up by the ears. Keep the arms straight as you reach overhead and on the exhale bring them back down to the sides of the body.

2. Repeat 5-10 times and then reverse the movement by starting with the arms by the ears with the palms up, sweeping them out to the sides as you roll the shoulders closed. Turn the palms back toward the ground, and return the arms back to the sides of the body.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend
Warm-Up/Prone/Belly: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Heart Lifts,Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow), Sphinx Plank,  A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical,
Standing/Balance: Tree
Chair:
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “Deep Blue”
Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helicrysium, Blue Tansey, Blue Chamomile Osmanthus
Please see my weekly newsletter for more details.

Music: Barbara Thompson “Songs from the Center of the Earth”

Quote: He who works with his hands is a laborer, he who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who works with his hands, head and his heart is an artist.” -St. Francis of Assisi

Miscellaneous: 

1. Printable PDF/Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:
https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

2. Printable link to Attunement / warm-up for all general classes.

This is the first section of each class, explained in detail, which we usually repeat every week.

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #2

This week we explored the following: sitting and getting up from the chair, how we walk regarding our weight transfer and balance with reversing and stopping in mid-stride, plus a repeat of some options for strengthening the thighs.

I have also attached a more detailed PDF of the Attunement/Warm Up moments for all General Classes.
Details when necessary or a referral to the details/photos/video on my website.

EXPLORATION – Breath & Movement

1. While standing, raise the arms out to the side and overhead. What did you notice?

2. Do the same thing but coordinate the lifting of your arms with the in-breath, and lowering with the out-breath. Did you feel a difference?

3. Repeat the movement, but reverse the breathing. For most people this feels odd. It is as if the body were working against itself.

In yoga we tend to coordinate the lifting of the arms with the inhale and the lowering with the exhale. This is the more natural way to do this movement. EX: joint- body/flexion-extension

Sometime you may give your nervous system a puzzle and lift on the exhale and lower on the inhale.

EXPLORATION -Sitting to Standing

1. Sit in a chair. Stand up from the seated position.
How did you go from sitting to standing?
Were you aware of how you got up to standing?
Were your feet right next to each other, or was one in front of the other?

2. Sit down again. Move the right foot in front of the left and stand up. Sit down. Switch feet, do the same.

3. Consider whether you sensed a difference between these three methods?

4. Was it easier to come to standing one way or the other?

5. Repeat the three feet positions, noticing how you hold your body and your head.
1. Does the body come forward when you get up?
2. Did you look up or down as you stood up?
3. Can you change the position of your head and or body and stand up?
4. Did that make it easier of more difficult.

6. Now try #2 but with the back foot being on the toes and heel lifted. Switch feet.
1. How does that compare to the previous positions?
2. Do with awareness of the body/head.

EXPLORATION Grounded – Movement

1. Sit in a chair. Come to standing. What happened under your feet when you stood up?

2. Do it again, this time paying attention to what happens in your feet when you stand up.

3. Sit down again, then stand up while pushing the feet into the ground. Do you notice a difference?

4. Repeat again and now lift your toes off the ground as you come to standing. How was this different?

Keeping your Center of Gravity & REVERSIBILITY

Reversibility = practicing the new movement or improving a habitual pattern in a controlled reversible way
– being able to STOP the movement at any time and reverse it.

Center of Gravity Walking
West = walking is described as controlled falling
– body weight moves forward outside the base of support before the stepping foot is on the ground
– leading to the body falling forward onto the stepping foot

East = ex: martial arts – walking is not about falling you are in control at all times.
– the body weight is within the base of support
– weight is NOT transferred to the stepping foot until it is safely touching the ground

Try these two different ways of walking.
Can you stop mid-step and reverse your stride?
Which way do you habitually walk?
Can you walk this way in reverse?

– Rather than automatically pacing through controlled falling, you have to be keenly aware of the dynamics of stability, mobility and balance throughout the body when you walk in a controlled, reversible way.

Asana this week:

Thigh Strengthening with Lift ’n Laugh, Dips at the Door and Dips freestanding.

We will repeat these this week in class. just in case anyone has questions. I find them very basic and worthwhile to work with for strength building.

Name: Lift ’n Laugh, Dips at the Door and Dips freestanding

Description: These are all a repeat of work we have done many times in the past so I will refrain from details.

Physical Benefits: Strengthening the thighs which helps one stay more independent and mobile.

Precautions: Chose which works for you and do as regular as possible for strengthening the thigh muscles. You may need to skip days if you are doing this on an intense basis.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend
Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical
Standing Asana:
Balance/Breath:
Chair/Wall:
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “Lavender”
Music: Goldmund “The Malady”
Quote: “How wonderful that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world”
-Anne Frank
Miscellaneous:
Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website.

Printable link to Attunement / warm-up for all general classes

 

From Me to You:
Dear Students,
Today, I will not be writing a note but will ask you to tell me, when you come to class this week, if this part of the review is worth keeping or not. Possibly you think the entire review should be condensed, please let me know.
I will hear from you if you have read this, and if not, I guess that will be my answer. If you will not be in class and want to write to me, please feel free to do so. Thank You.
Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Summer Session 2018 – #1

This week of class, due to the nature of the content, I am hoping brought some different experiences and awareness to your mat.

Inquiry is at the heart of what is possible in a yoga therapy practice, offering a safe framework from which you can explore, learning more about who you are and how you move, consciously and subconsciously.

Be patient and kind to yourself as you practice. It will take some time for you to become aware of the movements you do subconsciously. Give yourself the time, space, attention and rest that you need to develop this skill, spend time getting a sense of how you are doing what you are being asked to do.

The object is to Integrate what you are leaning and continuing to apply what you learn to enhance your experience of life’s activities. Take your yoga out the front door of the studio and make it a part of your life.

I will now, walk you through, our first week of class.

Part I
We begin with the Exploration and Identification phase of ‘just standing there’.

Closing you eyes, and as you just stand there, noticing what you can sense about your posture from the inside out.

Suggestions/Pay attention to the following:
1. Feet = What part are in more or less contact with the ground?
2. Center of Gravity = How are you finding your balance?
3. Muscular Effort = What muscles are you using to hold yourself up?
4. Tension/Relaxation = What part of the body feel tense, at ease/soft?
5. Emotional State = Are you happy, sad, frustrated, confident, confused, ashamed, overwhelmed, or excited in some way? What emotions are you feeling? How are these emotions related in your experience of your standing posture?
6. Quality of Mind = Is your mind busy or still? Agitated or lethargic? Sharp or dull? How many thoughts do you have and how quickly or slowly are they coming? How is your quality of mind reflected in your standing posture?
7. Breath = How are you breathing while you are standing? How does your breath related to the other areas that you have noticed?

Now come into “Mountain Pose/ Tadasana” (guided below in detail and above as audio) and as you explore this asana, identify the seven suggestions/to pay attention to, listed above.

How do the two differ: ‘just standing there’ and “Mountain Pose”, what does this mean to you?

Part 2
Now we will move on to the Differentiating Phase with the physical intentions and experiences of Mountain Pose using different body positions.

Stance Options:
1.  Try standing with your feet and legs together,  toes and heels touching, if possible, Mountain Pose. Slowly go through the 7 questions, give yourself time and patience. How does this feel?
2.  Now try standing with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart, but please not closer that if you put a block between your feel/6 inches, feel free to add a few inches if your would like. Be in Mountain Pose.

Do you feel the difference between the two options after asking yourself the seven questions. Which do you prefer and which feel healthier?

Feet Options: For each of these, take the moment to review the questions each time. Do not move the feet.
1.  Place the weight of your body towards the balls of your feet. Place the weight of your body towards the heels. Feel the difference, especially in your leg muscles.

2.  Press into the outer edges of the feet. Then try lifting the arches.

3.  Visualize a triangle on the bottom of each foot -the base is under the first and fifth toe and the point is in the center of the heel, draw a line between the three(or four if you prefer two points in your heel). You can also use the toe pad behind the first and fifth toes. Press equally into the points of the triangle.

4.  Grip the toes.   Then after some moments relax the toes and pick them up, spread them wide.
What changes for you during each foot choice? Pay attention to the relationships between the feet, knees and hips.

Hip-Activity Options: Bring the feet parallel, hip..so..distance apart and firmly connect the points of both feet to the ground.

1.  Activate the legs by attempting to pull the feel toward each other without moving them, as if you were going to pull the mat together. The mat and feet don’t actually move, but you activate the muscles with the action of pulling the legs toward each other.

2. Now activate the legs by attempting to pull the feet away from each other without actually moving them, as if you were going to rip your mat apart.

3. Now activate the legs by trying to to turn your feet out like a duck without actually doing so, as if you were going to spiral the legs outward. Forward part of the feet out and the heels pulling inward.

4. Now attempt to turn your forward part of the feet in towards your mid-line, heels outward, without actually doing so, as if you were going to spiral the legs inward.

What changes for you during the different muscle activation? Pay attention to the changes in the relationships between the hips, knees, and feet. Review the seven questions with each change of position.

Shoulder and Arm Options:
1.  Draw your shoulders back and down. Now let your shoulder blades spread apart. Place your arms by your sides in a relaxed fashion with your palms facing the sides of your legs. Imagine you are sending our fingers down toward the earth.
2.  Press your palms into your legs, near the side seams of your pants. Now turn your palms forward. With the palms forward try the same options, pressing the fingers first down towards the ground and then the pinky finger side of the hands into the legs. Try this again with the palms facing backwards.

As you combine these various activations see what is interesting to you, or not. Pay attention to the relationship between the arms shoulders, spine and core.

Part 3
Differentiating Phase using Props -still using the 7 questions of inquiry.

Wall:
1.  Bring your buttocks gently to the wall, keeping the feet under the hips.
2.  Press the back of your head lightly into the wall. What changes? How does the rest of your body orangize itself differently from this feedback?
3.  Now try different shoulder positions with the arms at the sides of the body, first pressing the hands only, then the forearms: palms facing into the body, palms facing the wall and palms facing forward.
What changes with each shoulder positioning and the feedback of pressing the hand and then the arms into the wall?
4. Now do the same with the arms reaching up by the ears.
During this series at the wall, the shoulders are not touch the wall, only the buttocks and head slightly.

Block:
1.  Place a block between the thighs and squeeze it gently.
How does this new feedback change your muscle awareness? How does it change the relationship between the feet, knees and pelvis?
2.  Now stand on two blocks using the lower and flat setting, with the blocks hip width apart.
How does introducing this elevation and change in texture and feedback change your sense of Mountain Pose/Tadasana?
3.  Block balanced on the head: Place a block on your head and if it is too difficult than begin with a book.
4.  Standing in strong Mountain Pose balance the block with the feet shoulder width apart and begin working on your balance. Shifting the weight to one side and picking up the opposite heel, do not bend the knees. Shifting from side to side and eventually lifting the toes also, pause, place the toes down, then the heel and shift.
5.  From hip width apart in Mountain Pose, begin to take a step forward but stop before lifting the back toes and return to original position. Do the same taking a step back. Continue with alternating feet. As if each step is hesitated and reversed before finishing. Knees are soft and can be slightly bent.
6.  Continue now by walking around the room balancing the block/book on your head. Check yourself in the mirror, how are you holding your chin? With the block placed properly the chin should be in neutral, slightly down and not reaching forward or up, head well balanced over shoulders.

Asana this week:

Name: Mountain Pose/Tadasana (see audio guided version above)

Mountain pose is a basic standing pose. Establishing a sense of poise by creating a contemplative moment on being centered and grounded while slowing and carefully, modulating your breathing.

Do not be tempted too rush through the pose, instead take time to relax, remain still and breathe evenly, receiving the full benefits of the pose.

If you think you are not doing enough, don’t worry you most definitely are!

Description:

1.Come to a comfortable standing position with feet hip-width apart, second toes parallel to each other.

2. Slowly rocking side to side…………. and back and forth, passing over your center.

3. Lift your toes and try to spread them out, creating space between each and every one of them. Try not to grip the floor with any of your toes.

4. Feel the floor under your feet with the three/four corners of each foot anchored into the ground.
Feel the imaginary lines from the big toes to the heels and from the pinkies to the heels with a slightly stronger contact on the outsides of your feet.

……..Now find your center and remain there.

5. Slowly being aware that your legs are straight but not locked, bringing the knees directly over the ankles and hips directly over the knees.

6. Without activating the stomach muscles, feel the thighs contract and the lift of the kneecaps towards your hips.
Your legs and feet should feel grounded and stable and equal.

7. When you are feeling power in your feet and legs, the muscles of the pelvic floor will automatically, without effort, draw inward and upward in your body. Feel this action while engaging the belly button slightly inward towards the spine along with a lift upwards.

8. Continue lifting and lengthening through the spine, broadening the sides of the chest as you reach from the sternum then wrapping around to the to that place on your back where the shoulder blades slip down into their pockets by gently releasing the shoulders down, taking them away from your ears, without creating any tension in the neck muscles.

9. Keeping the torso long, chest forward, feeling the flare of the collarbones while leveling the shoulders and keeping them parallel to the pelvic girdle.

10. Arms should be relaxed with palms facing inward towards the body and thumbs forward. Fingers should not be either straight, nor curled to the palms, but in that space between, just relaxed and slightly bent.

11. Let the head rest on top of the spine with the chin neither tilting up nor tucked down too much towards the throat…think of that fishing line from the crown of the head to the ceiling, reeling in as you lengthen and stack the body into good posture.

12. Keeping the face soft. Relax the forehead.

13. Breathing through the nose and feeling the coolness of the breath as it passes through the rims of the nostrils on the inhale……now feel the warmth as you exhale, having let the body warm and filter the breath on its journey.

14. Keeping the teeth slightly ajar, not touching.
The tip of the tongue gently touching the roof of the mouth where it meets the teeth, but not touching the teeth.

15. While keeping the lips lightly closed, begin relaxing the chin and feel the lower lip spread while keeping contact.

16. Visualize your torso and head rising away from your legs and feet, feeling light and relaxed as your lower body should feel stable and grounded.

17. Feel the energy circulating throughout your body, with both the qualities of softness and inner strength.

Breath six full breaths………….
18. Bring your hands up over your head with palms facing forward and thumbs hooked as you bend gently backwards and breathe deeply.
Slowly lowering arms to your side.

You have completed your Guided Mountain Pose/Tadasana.

Physical Benefits:
Aligns the spine, tones the abdominal muscles and buttocks, opens the chest, improves posture, stability, balance, strengthens the arches, ankles, knees and thighs.

Mental Benefits:
Improves focus, develops willpower, reduces mild anxiety.
Counter a long day of contracting the back with this powerful back and chest-opening posture.

Adaptations/Variations:
Use a chair/wall for balancing if necessary.

General Class Sequencing:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair(or up the wall) with blanket across and lengthwise.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch,
Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website: https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/
Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend
Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose….
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical,
Standing/Balance: See Above in detail.
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “On Guard” Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon Leaf & Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary

Music: Land of Forever
Real Music
Published on Nov 25, 2013
Real Music Album Sampler: Land of Forever by 2002 Enjoy clips of all the songs on the album in the order they appear. Legend tells that a person visiting the mysterious northern isle of “Tir Na Noc” for a day may discover, upon returning, that 300 years have passed. Glistening guitar adds a new depth to the familiar array of 2002’s angelic strings, keyboard, flutes and harp, transporting you into that mysterious other realm. listen and buy: https://www.realmusic.com/artists/200…

Quote:
Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”            -Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Wolfgang_von_Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; …
Literary movement: Sturm und Drang; Weimar …
Children: 5 (4 died young): Julius August Walter …
Nationality: German

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our poser to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”.             -Viktor Frankl
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Search_for_Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning: Viktor E. Frankl, William J. Winslade …

Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. His twenty-nine books have been translated into twenty-one languages. During World War II, he spent three years in Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps.

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #9

Asana this week:
Pressure Cooker
Side Child’s Pose

Name: Pressure Cooker

Description: Sitting Version
1.  Sit on a firm chair with your legs parallel and hip-width apart.
2.  With both hands on one hip and thigh, manually turn the thigh in and broaden the hip to the side.
3.  Perform the same act on the other side as well. This adjustment sets your foundation and allows for the actions that follow to be most effective. This is called ‘manual inner spiral’
4.  Lean forward and place your hands on the outside of the legs just below your knees. If you have shoulder or arm pain, place a belt to encircle your legs just below the knees instead of using the arms.
5.  Widen and retract your sitting bones. Lean forward from your hips, not your waist. Firm all your thigh muscles and inhale as you lengthen out through your spine.
6.  As you exhale, push your hands strongly in toward the midline, and press out equally strongly with your things. The resisted isometric movement will widen your pelvis, relieving compression in the hips and sacroiliac joints.

Variations: Standing Version
1.  Place the belt around your upper shins to maintain alignment of the lower legs.
2.  Bend your knees and lean forward slightly, hands on your hips or slightly opened.
3.  Strongly widen your things, from the hips to the knees, and breathe, keeping your spine long.
4.  After several deep breaths, release the action and stand back up.

Physical Benefits:
To strengthen thigh abductors and shoulder adductors and widen the thighs and pelvis without widening the lower legs. To repair and maintain the hip joints.
Once you are familiar with this action, you can apply it to many poses even without the actual forces.
This pose offers a good opportunity to practice intense effort without holding your breath or becoming agitated. Trust the process of building strength and awareness.

Precautions: Take care in the placement of your legs, tracking is important. Press into the sides of the upper shins firmly enough with our hands to balance the strong outward push with your thighs. Keep breathing.

Name: Side Child’s Pose

Description:
1.  On your hand and knees, using a blanket to pad your knees if necessary, sit back on your haunches.
2.  Creep to the right with your hands, curving your torso sideways. Maintaining your legs in their original position.
3.  Bend your right arm and place the forearm on the floor to provide a resting place for your head.
4.  Stretch your left arm along the floor near your head. Curve it to your right. Hold the hips and thighs steady.
5.  Lift up the left side of your ribs and your left armpit to be level with the right side.
6.  Find the longest stretch you can make stay there as you breathe deeply. Extend out through your left arm and back through your left hip with a calm, steady effort.
7.  To come out of the pose, raise your head and walk your hands back to center.
8.  Repeat on the left side.

Physical Benefits:
To stretch the sides, enabling the whole spine to elongate, one-half at a time, facilitating lateral flexion.
Extend and lift up both sides of the body even, though the stretch will be on one side at a time.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend
Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Side Child’s Pose, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Up-dog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symmetrical Locust Lifts + Symmetrical,
Standing/Balance: Long Warrior Stance with block on the wall at the knee: Achilles stretch and Knee dips, Balancing R/L with switching weight from side to side, Breath of Joy
Chair: Heel Slides/Tracking with Lifts, Pressure Cooker, Twist: Squared/Sitting in Car, Toe & Ankle Stretches.
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “On Guard” Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon Leaf & Bark, Eucalyptus, RosemaryStar Anise, unmet, Vanilla Bean, Ginger, Cinnamon.

Music: Deuter “Buddha”

Quote: Frank Gelett Burgess: American Artist, Art Critic, Poet, Author and Humorist
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelett_Burgess He coined the term “blurp.”
“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.”

Miscellaneous:  These were requests from students, I hope they help.
1. Gel Yoga toes: this is one link but there are many more versions relatively similar and doing the same work.
YogaToes®
2. Printable Link to Morning Wake-Up Stretch on my website:
https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2018/01/20/morning_wake_up_stretch/

From Me to You:
Dear Students,
Still looking for the 20 winners of a choice of one of the following three photos: Elephant Herd, Namaste Moose or Iris. We have pulled four more numbers, please let me know if you have any of the following: 049, 059, 088, 090.

Last evening was the last class of the Spring session and during class we picked the three raffle tickets for winning numbers of those who had completed the questionnaire and had all answers correct.
The 3rd prize of a large size photograph of chosen image: 080
The 2nd prize for a 20% discount in Summer session fee: 076
The 1st prize of a private class at my studio: 071

As the Spring Session has come to an end, I would like to thank all registered students for such a fulfilling last few months as your yoga teacher. I hope you enjoyed the experience a much as I enjoyed the journey of learning from all of you.

Later this evening we leave for a vacation of visiting family and friends in England, Portugal, France and Germany. Presently I am sitting at my desk and contemplation the theme for our Summer session together which will begin on Monday, June 25th.

Looking forward to seeing all of you again in three weeks.

Until…
RoxAnn

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #8

Asana this week:
Standing Crescent
Partner Work: learning the movement of the shoulder blades.

Name: Standing Crescent

Description:
1.  Stand with your left side a few inches from the wall. Lift your left arm high on the arm.
2.  Test whether you are more comfortable with your palm or the back of your hand on the wall.
3.  Firm your arm muscle, retains the upper arm deep in the shoulder joint/don’t squeeze your arm to your ear.
4.  Inhale, lift amp through your torso, and lean sideways toward the wall until your hip and possible your shoulder area touch the wall.
5.  Lengthen your sides.
6.  Gradually intensify this side stretch during several breaths.
7.   Repeat this movement several times, then turn and repeat on the other side.

Physical Benefits/ Precautions: This movement will mildly flex the lateral spine and increase shoulder mobility including range of motion. Keep your body carefully aligned with the side toward the wall. Avoid turning. Best if done with a wall on the side and back, using a corner.

Name: Partner work: learning the movement of the shoulder blades.

Description:
1.  Place your hands on the shoulder blades of your partner/model as they move the shoulder blades: in/out, up/down etc.
2.  Have the model slowly take the arms six inches from the sides of the body with the inhale and back with the exhale. Keeping the shoulders down and in place as well as the shoulder blades in their pockets. Then repeat the movement with the model allowing the shoulders to lift with the arms, feel the difference.
3.   Repeat same as above but this time taking the arms up over head. Do both versions: keeping the shoulders still in place and allowing them to lift.
The safer option is, as much as possible, especially when reaching, to keep the shoulders down and in place.

Physical Benefits/ Precautions: Stretching the shoulder area and avoiding the shoulders to become your new earrings. Keeping the shoulders down will help to avoid any impingement.

General Class:


Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise under the back.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs, Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together, Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend with legs and arms overhead.
Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical,
Standing/Balance:   Standing Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana at the Wall, Partner finding the shoulder blades.
Chair: High Pitch Bhramari with traditional Shanmukti Mudra, Seated Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana, Bridge
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra pure Wild Orange (15ml bottle this week special $11. plus tax) with a few drops of Peppermint

Music: Deuter “Essentials”

Quote: Madame de Sevigne, a woman of letters (wit and vividness), an Icon of French Literature, a French Aristocrat
“It’s the fine rain that soaks us through.” This week we spoke about the correlation between this statement and taking ‘baby steps’ regarding long term changes in one’s life. No giant leaps and no quick fixes, these types of changes usually do not work in the long run.

Miscellaneous: 

The film “Ancient Secrets of Essential Oils” offered for free viewing periodically at “The Living Temple” is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 30th 7:00-8:30pm at The Living Temple #8 in Old World Village.
Both my husband and I enjoyed watching this film last week, seeing various doctors and experts talk about essential oils and viewing a real-time activation of left frontal and temporal brain activity (the left side is the analytical side responsible for focus and attention) by inhaling Peppermint Essential Oil.
A calming and happy limbic system was also show when using Lavender or Frankincense (not shown but also effective is Cedarwood, Vanilla, Lime, and Copaiba), specific in the region of the amygdala (the limbic system is the site of emotions and the amygdala combine memories with fight and flight reactions). This was show my mapping the brain of the doctor while he inhaled the oils.
The viewing is free, but do call first to make a reservation as space is limited. Enjoy the film. http://www.thelivingtemple.com or call Robin for information at (714) 891-5117.

From Me to You:

Dear Students,

We just returned, this time yesterday/Sunday, from a wonderful weekend in Joshua Tree, our 4th annual Retreat at the oldest retreat center in the western United States.

Spending the weekend together was a nice change from only an hour or so, seeing you return to your rooms in the evening in your pajamas after enjoying an hour of restorative yoga and sleepy eyes was special. Having time to eat in leisure and communicate in a special environment. Sharing a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house, which is 76 years old, on a vast acreage (almost 400 acres) only 2 miles from the entrance of the JT National Park. We were a total of 19 at the retreat. I would like to thank all of you who participated in making this a fun filled weekend. We have booked the location and caterer for our return next year, same time and same place.

Tuesday, May 29th at my studio from 1-3:30pm, another bolster class. Learn how to use your bolster, if you have one or if not, no worry I will supply a bolster. The cost of the workshop is $35. just email me and I will give you a reservation number and we will see each other on Tuesday. A Restorative and Yin, stress reducing work on the floor, appropriate for anyone also without yoga experience. This is limited to 10 participants only and there are already 7 signed up, just 3 spaces available.

To OWV currently registered students and returning to a class this Summer, thank you for giving me your check and securing a space for the Summer session. There are still a few openings in some classes, help me fill them and receive extra classes if a friend or family member signs up for a session. Pass the word.

Fountain Valley Founders Center sign-ups also began this past Wednesday/On-Line and Saturday for walk-in registration.

See you in class this week for our last week of the Spring session, classes from Tuesday through next Monday, June 4th.


Until…
RoxAnn

 

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #7

Asana this week:
Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana

Name: Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana

Description:
Step by Step Full Version/Standing with Variations

1. Stand in Tadasana.
On an exhalation, step your feet wide apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down, engage the arms from fingers to shoulder girdle.
Turn your right foot out 90 degrees to the right and your left/back foot/heel back/toes on an angle, align the heels.
Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
Roll the left hip slightly forward, toward the right(same direction as your knee/toes), but rotate your upper torso back to the left.

2. Anchor the left (back) heel to the floor by lifting the inner left groin deep into the pelvis, feel the arch of the foot engage and lift.
Exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. As you bend the knee, aim the inner knee toward the little-toe side of the foot. Look down to be sure that you can see the big toe on the inside of your knee cap.
If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor (this may be an accomplishment/goal for the future).

3. As you continue to ground your left heel to the floor, exhale and release the right side of your torso down or bring it as close as possible towards the top of the right thigh.
Advanced version: Press your right fingertips (or palm/can also use a block) on the floor just outside of your right foot. Actively push the right knee back against the inner arm; counter this by burrowing your tail-bone into the back of your pelvis, toward the pubis.
The inside of your right thigh should be parallel with the long edge of your sticky mat.                      Gentle Version: Lay your elbow on your forearm, directly on the thigh above the knee with the palm facing up.

4. Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs.
Extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, then turn the left palm to face toward your head and with an inhalation reach the arm over the back of your left ear, palm facing the floor.
Stretch from your left heel through your left fingertips, lengthening the entire left side of your body.
Turn your head to look pass the inside of the left arm.
Release your right shoulder away from the ear.
Try to create as much length along the right side of your torso as you do along the left.

5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Inhale to come up.
Push both heels strongly into the floor and reach the left arm forcefully toward the ceiling to lighten the upward movement.
Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left. Then come up and return to Tadasana.

Physical Benefits:
Strengthens the ankles, calves, knees and thighs. Relieves symptoms of sciatica. Opens the hips and groin. Increases lung capacity. Alleviates symptoms of arthritis. Lengthens the spine. Improve digestion.
Stimulates abdominal organs. Increases stamina. Builds focus. Develops willpower, stimulate the mind and reduces stress.

Precautions:
If you have any neck problems don’t turn your head to look at the top arm; instead look straight ahead with the sides of the neck lengthened evenly, or look down at the floor.

Variations:
You can also perform this pose with the lower arm in front of the bent-knee thigh. This will help create more stretch in the front groin. As you lower your torso to the side, bring the back of your right shoulder against the inner knee, and press your fingertips to the floor. Push the shoulder firmly into the knee and lean your torso back against the inner thigh. Lengthen your side ribs along the inner top thigh.

If you have a shoulder issue on the upper shoulder then instead of taking the arm overhead, bend the elbow and rest the had on the corresponding hip but still open that side of the shoulder/chest.

Beginner’s Tip:
Beginners often have two problems with this pose: they can’t keep their back heel anchored to the floor as they bend their front knee into the pose, and then they can’t easily touch the fingertips of their lower hand to the floor once they’re in the pose. To solve the first problem, brace your back heel against a wall. As you bend the front knee and then lower your torso to the side, imagine that, with your heel, you’re pushing the wall away from you. For the second problem either rest your forearm on the top of the bent-knee thigh (instead of trying to touch the hand to the floor), or use a block outside the front foot to support your hand.

Deepen the Pose:
Even for advanced students, the body’s weight tends to shift forward onto the ball of the front foot, unbalancing the pose. Once in the pose, lift the ball of the front foot off the floor and re-affirm the anchor of the back heel by pressing the head of the back femur bone deep into its socket and lifting the inner back groin deep into the leg. Then soften the ball of the front foot onto the floor again.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical,
Standing/Balance: Standing Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana
Chair: High Pitch Bhramari with Shanmukti Mudra, Seated Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana, Bridge
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: DO’Terra “Cheer” Wild Orange, Lemon Myrtle, Geranium, Clove, Star Anise, unmet, Vanilla Bean, Ginger, Cinnamon.

Music: Deuter “Atmospheres”

Quote: Han Suyin -Chinese born Eurasian, Physician, Author of “A Many Splendoured Thing” (Hollywood film 1955 called ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’ starring Jennifer Jones and William Holden.

(There are two different ways in which the word ‘splendored/splendoured’ is spelling according to Hollywood and Han Suyin)

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Suyin

“There is nothing stronger in the world than tenderness.”

Miscellaneous:  “Ancient Secrets of Essential Oils” very interesting film offered for free viewing periodically at “The Living Temple” http://www.thelivingtemple.com or call Robin for information at (714) 891-5117. This film, not only explained the effects, but shows with brain mapping how specific essential oils effect the brain.

From Me to You:

Dear Students,

I would like to thank all of you who have participated in returning the Questionnaire “Let’s Work and Learn Together”.
I will be returning them this week in class, corrected. We will have the drawing during the Monday/Solution class and then I will send an email with the 20 winning numbers. You can let me know your choice of photo when you find you have one of the numbers. Please do not through away the tickets after the initial drawing as I will continue to draw until all the 20 winners are found. The odds are in your favor as I received less than 60 returned questionnaires. For those of you who have answered correctly, I will also give you another raffle ticket for the drawing for the three final prizes.

Classes this coming week are from Monday thru Thursday as Friday morning we will be traveling to Joshua Tree for my annual retreat over the weekend. Classes will resume after the holiday (Monday is Memorial Day) on Tuesday for a full week, until and including Monday, June 4th.

I will be presenting another workshop on the many ways of enjoying your Bolster. A Restorative and Yin, Stress reducing work on the floor, also appropriate for anyone without yoga experience. The workshop will be from 1-3:30pm at my studio. You do not have to have a bolster to attend, I will supply them. This is limited to 10 participants only and there are already 5 signed up. If you are interested just send me an email and I will give you a reservation number, you can pay ($35.) when we see each other.

For currently registered students at my studio in OWV, intending to return to the same class in Summer, payment received by the holiday weekend will secure your placement. If you are interested in switching and/or adding, now is the time to let me know.

Fountain Valley Founders Center sign-ups will begin this coming Wednesday/On-Line and Saturday for walk-in registration.

I hope to see all of you returning for summer session and if not, you know you are always welcome to return at another time.
See you in class this week.
  Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #6

Asana this week:
Triangle = Trikonasana

Name: Triangle

Description:

I. Most Basic

1. Standing with your back on/near a wall, with a chair or similar object on your right and left (if necessary), separate your feet 3-3 ½ feet apart.

2. Walk your left foot an inch or two out toward the left edge of your mat – think of standing on two railroad tracks instead of on a balance beam. This will help you if you have difficulty feeling stable and balanced in these poses.

3. Stretch your arms out horizontally as you turn your right foot straight forward – parallel with the wall, and turn your left foot 30 degrees with the hip following.

4. Using the buttock muscles to move the left thigh back while keeping the torso straight, bend at the right hip toward the chair.

5. Retain the arms outstretched placing the bottom hand on the chair and breathe comfortably for 20-30 seconds.

6. Come up, shift the feet, and to the same on the other side.

2. Classic

This version is usually done free standing on a mat with no wall or chair used.
1. Stand with your feet approximately 3-3.5 feet apart. Stretch your arms out horizontally, palms down.

2. Turn the right foot out so it is in the plane of your body. Turn the left foot in about 30 degrees. Align your right ankle and the arch of your left foot.

3. Inhale and stretch your arms far apart. Expand the torso and lift the chest as you inhale, then soften but remain long, tall and widespread as you exhale.

4. Exhale and incline your torso to the right without bending or turning it. Keep your arms in a straight line, moving with your chest.

5. Reach your right arm out to help the spine to stay long and straight. The bend is at the hips, not at the waist. Place the right hand at the top of the thigh to create a deep bend forward of the spine.

6. Lift your navel upward and to the left, keeping the left foot in place, revolve the left knee is line with the hip, possible using the left hand to do so. The right groin widens while the left groin gets longer. Try to put the left elbow on the wall, then the shoulder and if possible reach directly up with the left arm.

7. Slide your right hand down the right leg as far as possible, either to the front of your ankle, on the floor just behind it, on a support such as a block or small box.

9. Elongate your spine, placing as much of the weight as possible equally on the right and left legs.

10. Arms will be vertical (like a windmill depending upon how far down the lower hand goes) and gaze between, neither looking up or down but straight forward. Remain in the pose 20-30 seconds.

11. Slowly rise back to vertical. Now reverse/switch sides and do pose again.

Physical Benefits/ Precautions:
Counteracts the tightness that occurs from frequent, everyday sitting/hip flexion. Stretches the quadriceps and psoas. Supports the stabilization of the knee joint. Helps establish a comfortable seated pose.

Feel free to stand near a wall if maintaining balance is a challenge. Be cautious if you have serious arthritis in either knee: Pressures on the joints will be uneven when you begin. To protect the knees, lift your thigh muscles actively, which will help to prevent excess downward pressure into the joint. This pose is good for sacroiliac joint pain, and puts strong, stimulating pressures on the bones of the hip, lower lumbar spine and pelvis.

General Class:

Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend


Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow), Cross Crawl

Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical, Mini Sun Salutations

Standing/Balance: Triangle (wall and free standing), Wide Leg Forward Fold with Stretch R/L

Chair:  High Pitch Bhramari with Shanmukti Mudra, Marble Pick-UP with Toes

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTerra “Past Tense” Wintergreen, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Cilantro, Marjoram, Cilantro, Roman Chamomile, Basil, Rosemary
The Weekly Special this week is priced at $21. plus tax for a 10m Roll-On Touch. You can order by sending me an email. Feel free to read more about the doTerra products at http://www.doterra.com .

Music: Chakra’s Dream

Quote:  “There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”
Nietzsche – German Philosopher, Cultural Critic, Poet, Composer and Latin – Greek scholar.

Miscellaneous: 
Link to diffuser used in class:
https://www.amazon.com/InnoGear%C2%AE-Aromatherapy-Essential-Ultrasonic-Humidifier/dp/B00V9JP8EE
InnoGear Upgraded 150ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Portable Ultrasonic Diffusers Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors LED Lights and Waterless Auto…..

From Me to You:

Dear Students,
this week in class we reviewed Cross Crawl and Mini-Salutations. I will continue with both of these for the next few weeks as I see great progress happening. If you have a knee situation and the Mini-Salutations are too difficult you can always go to the chair and do a version standing in front of your chair. We can review that particular alternative version this week in class.

I find the Cross Crawl, not only good for stamina and joint movement but also good for the brain. I have notice that many of you are having much more success in keeping the back flat on the floor/engaged during this movement, this work will help strengthen the back muscles and better support the vertebrae.

So this week, you spent some time “picking up your marbles.” Please continue to do so at home, you can also use a wash cloth. Work those toes and you will be surprised how much easier and free they will feel once you establish a different relationship with them, it doesn’t matter if you have neuropathy, just do what you can. Many students have reported much less pain and a better stability after working with the toes for a longer period of time, don’t give up!

If you were not in class this week, I hope to see you next week. Please check last weeks Weekly Review for information on the Summer Session. Summer Calendars have just arrived and they are now available. Checks are due by May 24. Thinking about adding a second class? Now would be the time as there will be available space in most classes.

Hope you enjoy the session photo of the bee working to accumulate nectar for the hive. If you were not here to receive the photo please take one when you come to class the next time.

I am enjoying receiving and correcting the questionnaires, please read them carefully and don’t forget, sometimes you may have to scroll down when looking for an answer. You will receive them back after the 20th, with or without a raffle ticket. I truly appreciate the time you have taken do do this for us, thank you!

tI would like to thank all the students who attended the Bolster Workshop yesterday, I enjoyed the afternoon with you and hope you will found more ways of utilizing and enjoying your bolster than you had thought. The next time we do this will be on Tuesday, May 29th.

See you in class this week.
Until…
RoxAnn

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #5

Asana this week:

Cross Crawl                                                                                                                                                                              Mini Sun Salutation                                          

Name: Cross Crawl
Description: Opposites moving, all extremities at the same time. Either for stretching, slowly and with intention, the breath leading the way, or, quicker for cardio work but with either option be mindful that you do not arch the back it should remain with and engaged abdominal area and flush with the floor during any extremity movement.
The exercise has two parts which you should practice separately before you attempt them together. Both parts are done on the floor, knees up, feet apart and flat.
1.  Arm Switches: Put one of your arms straight up overhead, hands slightly cupped with fingers and palm pointing up. If your shoulder bother you, put a block/pillow/blanket above, not under , you head to limit the downward descent of your arm and relieve shoulder stretch. Inhale and with one arm still overhead and your other arm down at your side, start you exhale and squeeze your lower back down, pressing it into the floor. As you continue to exhale, switch arm positions. When you’ve finished exhaling, relax your back and inhale. Exhale again you with arm positions.
2.  Knee Switches: Start with your arms relaxed at your sides and bring one of your knees up toward your shoulder as far a you can comfortably go. Inhale with your knee still help p toward your armpit, and start to exhale slowly as you squeeze your lower back down, pressing it into the floor. As you continue to exhale, slowly switch your knees. When you’ve finished exhaling, relax your back and inhale. Exhale again a you switch leg positions.
3.  Combining the switches together: After you feel comfortable with each of these individual exercise, you can combine them so that you are doing one leg and the opposing arm at the same time. Don’t let frustration to arise. Think to yourself, “Opposites Up”, as you make the arm/leg switch. Inhale leaving your arms and legs at rest, start your exhale, switch your arm and leg positions and finish as you complete your exhale.
Physical Benefits: The Cross Crawl (according to Sherry Brourmann P.T.- “Walk Yourself Well”) exercise is especially good for preventing, and even eradicating, low back and sciatic pain. It strengthens the abdominal and spinal muscles and stabilizes the trunk. Conditioning is necessary especially if particular muscles have become weak from disuse.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: For the more advanced student, when it is possible to keep the spine flat on the mat during the movements, one an extend the leg so the heel touches the floor. For even more work you can chose to hover the leg an inch or so above the mat but being aware if the back arches then you have over taxed the muscles and you are not ready for this version, rather build gradually and safe. You can also add hand and/or leg weights in small increments to begin with and gradually increasing.

Name:  Mini Sun-Salutation
Description:
1.  Begin in Hero Pose, sitting on your heels, with hands to the heart in Anjali mudra.
2.  Inhale, reaching out and up over head with your arms as you come up onto your knees (for those with a knee issue this can be your first position).
3.  Exhale, while lowering your arms to the floor reaching them way out in front of you while you sit back on your heels in Childs Pose/Salaam Pose.
4.  Inhale, coming onto your hands and knees into an Upward Facing Dog (straight arm Cobra). Let your hips flow forward as you move the chest up and between the arms. The arms remain straight, and your hips now lower to the ground. Your legs are straight behind you. Toes can remain tucked under or, for more challenge, point the toes away from you. Fill your lungs and open your heart. Look up.
5.  Exhale, return back onto hand and knees to Downward Facing Dog. Lengthen the arms and the spine and turn the tailbone high in the air. Be a happy puppy – wag your tail! Root your paws deep into the earth. Linger there for a few breaths, if you like.
6. Exhale completely and return to Hero’s Pose, your first position, with hands at the heart.
Repeat …
Physical Benefits: Strengthening and stretching the entire body, flowing with the breath. A short version of the Sun Salutations which can be learnt on first practice, go for it!
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Start where it works best for your knees and end in a partial Down-Dog if necessary. Instead of a full Up-Dog you can come to a partial which may feel better for the back or you can instead of Up-Dog, do a Plank.

General Class:


Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose….
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical, Mini Sun Salutation
Supine: Cross Crawl


Standing/Balance: Warrior II, Lunge with Dips, STOP/Shoulder Stretch
Chair: Pranayama “Bhramari Bee’s Buzzing”
Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Pranayama: Bhramari “As you exhale, make the sound of a female honeybee.” -the following is from Dr. Timothy McCall author of “Yoga as Medicine”

This week we started with “Basic Bhramari Shanmukhi Mudra Variation” version (see below), not using all the fingers and addressing all the senses but only one finger and sound. We will cover all the versions during the next few weeks.

Getting Started:
In a comfortable seated position, either on the floor or in a chair, with the thighs angled down and your natural curve of your lumbar spine honored. Always balance effort and ease.
Making a buzzing sound of moderate volume, but never forced.
Keep your facial muscles loose, your lips lightly touch, and your jaw relaxed (this is most important for resonance)
With the upper and lower rows of teeth slightly separated, tongue free and loose.
Prolong the buzzing sound on the exhalation as long as it’s comfortable and you can still inhale smoothly, without gasping for air.
If you start to feel agitated, back off and return to normal breathing.

Basic:
Sitting comfortably and allowing your eyes to close.
Take a breath or two to settle in and notice the state of your mind.
When you are ready, inhale and buzz for the entire length of your exhalation, make a low-to medium-pitched humming sound in the throat.
Notice how a wave gently vibrates your tongue, teeth, and sinuses  .Imagine the sound is vibrating your entire brain (it really is).
Do this practice for 6 rounds of Bhramari and then, keeping your eye’s closed, return to your normal breathing.
Notice if anything has changed.

Basic with Shanmukhi Mudra (Variation):
One way to intensify the effects is to use the thumbs to close the ear canal but placing them on the tragus (a piece of cartilage/like a bump on the cheek side of each ear).
Continue with the low-medium pitch buzzing sound on the exhale, do 6 rounds.
This reminds me of swimming under water with ear plugs or laying in a float tank.

Basic with Shanmukhi Mudra (Traditional):
Sit up straight and place your hands on your face with one thumb on each tragus, the index fingers lightly touching the inner corners of your eyes, the middle fingers on the sides of the nose, the ring fingers love the lip and the pinkies just elbow. Be sure to place only very light pressure on the eyeballs. Do six more rounds of low- to medium-pitched Bhramari, lower your hands, and notice the effects. If you suffer from anxiety depression, or claustrophobia, you may not enjoy Shanmukhi Mudra and should probably skip it.

Silent Bhramari
Begin as usual with six rounds and then switch to silent Bhramari, in which you imagine the buzzing sound on each exhalation. Notice whether you can still sense vibrations in your face and sinuses.

Benefits: Can relieve insomnia, sinus issues/infections, nasal congestion, thyroid problems and stress.
The ‘noise’ of Bhramari’s buzzing can drown out the endless mental tape loops that can fuel emotional suffering, making it a useful starting point for those who are too ‘busy’ to meditate.
A safe, easy to learn practice has tremendous therapeutic potentials. Like other Pranayamas, its power comes partly from its effects on the Autonomy Nervous System (ANS). Lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation activated the calming Parasympathetic brand of the ANS. For those who suffer from anxiety or anxious depression, the practice can begin to quiet a person within a few breaths.

Bharami Rx from Dr. Timothy McCall: Where the sound resonates – as well as the energetic effects of different pitches and volumes – can suggest which variation of Bhramari will most likely help in specific situations.

Insomnia: A quiet, low pitched sound, perhaps with the addition of Shanmukhi Mudra, could be soothing to the nervous system and mind.
Sinus Infections or Nasal Congestion: a more forceful medium – to high- pitched sound might ve a better choice to open the passageways.
Thyroid Problems: Try a medium-pitched sound and add Jalandhara band (chin lock) to direct the sound waves to the throat.
Stressed Out: Use the silent variation, at work or in public, so no one around you know what you are doing.

Essential Oil:   doTERRA “Balance” -the Grounding Blend of Spruce Leaf, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansey, Blue Camomile Flowers

Music: Kamal/Quiet Earth

Quote:Many of us need to be given permission to switch from the doing to the being mode, mostly because we have been conditioned since we were little to value doing over being.”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Miscellaneous:
Book: “Walk Yourself Well” by Sherry Brourmann P.T.

Float Therapy Spa: http://www.floattherapyspa.com/
Mon – Sat,10AM -8:30PM  Sun 10am – 7pm   +1.7147173563
16942 Gothard Street Suite E Huntington Beach Ca 92647
Floatation therapy provides a remarkable way to calm the mind, relax the body and amplify the spirit. The experience involves lying on your back in an enclosed float pod, which is filled with 200 gallons of water heated to skin temperature, infused with 1,200 lbs of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salt. This incredible amount of Epsom salt provides effortless buoyancy of the body. Some of the anti-gravity benefits are decompression of the spine, elimination of pressure points on the body, and efficient blood flow which produces natural dopamine levels and lowers cortisol. Once comfortably relaxed in the water, the sensation of where the water begins and your body ends are integrated into one, leaving you feeling euphoric.

From Me to You:

Dear Students,

Lots of vacations going on and lots of makeups happening. Today in a Solution class we had 9 students making up, some from last session, some missed for this session and a few knowing they will be missing during the coming weeks. I am a happy teacher when I see all the boxes filled in with initials knowing you have been here at some time, conscious to make up sooner or later, as we are working together to become healthier and have more physical and mental stability in our lives.

If there was something we did in class which I have not previewed and you would like details, please let me know.

Have just started receiving the “open book test” multiple choice website questionnaires. Don’t forget to get your raffle ticket when you hand me the form, thanks for taking the time to become familiar with my website and deciding to ‘follow’ me when you find that box!

Sign up slips for Summer session (at my studio in OWV) will be given out this week, the Summer session is as follows:
Classes for the Summer Yoga Session 2018 at my studio will begin on Monday, June 25 – ending on Friday, August 31.
(Please note: No classes Wednesday, July 4th and from Monday July 30 to Saturday August 4th.)

The session will be either:
8 classes at $131. for all Wednesday and Saturday classes.
or
9 weeks at $147. for all Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday classes.

Payment is due by Thursday, May 24, please make checks payable to Help Your Health. Make-ups and roll over possibilities continue.

I need to double check on the correct dates for FV sign-ups. Will let you know next week. The schedule will be the same as above posted.

One spot open for Saturday May 12th plus added new Bolster workshop on Tuesday may 29th. If you didn’t buy a bolster on the first order, it’s not too late. I have just received another order and have them available here in my studio. Wondering why you should take it? Read the handout I will be giving out this week and you will see……

Weekly Oil Offering: The oil used this second week was Balance. If you are interested in a 15ml bottle, the retail cost is $21. plus tax, for a 15ml bottle which can also be used in the diffuser. this is a special 20% discount price which ends when classes begin this week.

If you ordered and ON Guard, I will have the order by mid-week.

My 4th Annual Joshua Tree Retreat has only one room available, the room has both a double and single bed with its own private bathroom, ideal for two people. Please get in touch for details.

See you in class this week.
Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #4

Asana this week:
Seated Chair Lift
Strengthening Cactus Arms R/L
Toe Abduction

Name: Purvottanasan with Chair (Seated Chair Lift)


Description:
1.  Sit on the front edge of a chair. Place your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Line them up under the knees and then step forward one foot-length with both feet, can readjust after the first lift as knees should end over the ankles.
2.  Lengthen up through the sides of your ribs. Pull your shoulders back.
3.  Place your hands behind you on the chair seat, curling your fingers over the side edges.
4.  Hold your shoulders back as you slowly slide your hips forward and up off the chair. Stretch your knees forward as you puff your chest up. Look forward.
5.  Make your body as long as possible from your shoulders to your knees.
6. Breath strongly but quietly while in the pose, maintaining the lift from the inside.
7.  Slowly release back down onto the chair to rest. This type of arm-supported back bending builds courage and stamina.
Physical Benefits: To strengthen the arms and shoulders and stretch the front of the chest, improving shoulder extension.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Keep your legs parallel, puff your chest out, and pull your shoulders back. You may choose to release the head back but do not have to do this, just keep looking forward.

Name: Cactus Arm/Shoulder Girdle Strengthening

Description:
1.  Stand with your right arm bent and elbow in line with your right shoulder, fingers pointing up, palm facing inward. Support the bent elbow in the palm of your other hand, fingers wrapped on the arm.
2.  Isometrically engage the right arm as if you were going to open it away from the body and at the same time pull with the left hand so the right arm does not move.
3.  Starting with the elbows below or in line with the shoulders and if you want more you can raise the elbows slightly above the shoulder for a more intense engagement. Switch sides.
Physical Benefits: to improve strengthening and stretching the rhomboid, posterior deltoid and subscapularis muscles. You may also feel the muscles at the back of the neck coming into play.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Keep your arms back in their sockets and your collar bones wide and shoulders down. Hold each movement for 3-5 breaths.
1.  With the same bent arm take it across the chest and hold it inward above the breasts. Switch sides.

Name: Toe Abduction -Do your big toes make a right and or left hand turn or do they point straight down the road?

Description:
1. Sit in a chair, feet together. Your feet can be on the floor or elevated on blocks for easier access.
2. Lean forward and touch the inner arches of your feet with your thumbs. This is the location of the abductor hallucis muscle, which will help the big toes to track straight forward.
3. Now position your hands with your index fingers on the inner edges of your big toes, while your thumbs are on the inner arches. Push your toes inward against your index fingers. Resist the action with your fingers.
4. With your thumbs feel for the contracting muscle along the inner aches. It is at the back of the arch, in line with the inner ankle bone. Repeat the action five or ten times at first, but practice until you are doing it twenty-five or fifty times. Do it daily.
5. After a few weeks of practice, try this pose while standing up instead of sitting. Stand with the balls of your feet touching.  Move the big toes together. It is fine if the toes lift up as you move them, but do not move your feet as a whole or your ankles or knees. The most helpful way to avoid bunions is to incorporate this action into walking
Physical Benefits: To strengthen the muscles that will reduce and/or prevent bunions.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Intense concentration will help you activate the muscles that move the toes as instructed. Be patient if it is not easy at first. Avoid moving your feet and knees as you isolate this action.
1.  You can also put a rubber band around the two big toes and try to pull the toes apart.
2.  Standing, push down on the big toes, after aligning them with the inside line of the foot if possible. Then pull up on the little toes, spread and widen without moving the big toes. If they won’t stay down by themselves begin with holding they in place, this can be done while sitting also.

General Class:


Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair with blanket across and lengthwise.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend and Circles.

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical, Cobra to Standing


Standing/Balance:  The Cloud Salutation, Warrior I, Lunge, Arm Crossover and Resist

Seated:   Slide Chair & Lift to Bow, Moving over the Sitz Bones, Toe Abduction

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed

Essential Oil: doTERRA “On Guard” Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary

Music: Steve Halpern: “Gift of Angels”

Quote:
“There is no such thing as an accident. What we call by that name is the effect of some cause which we do not see.”     –Voltaire – French Enlightenment Writer, Historian and Philosopher
another thought on the quote…..effect of some cause which we do not want to see……

From Me to You:
Dear Students,

All scheduled Bolster Workshops have been a delight to give and have been received with very positive response so I will be adding another one on Tuesday, May 28th. That is the Tuesday after Memorial Weekend. Let me know if you wish to attend, I will respond with a reservation number and then you are responsible for payment. I also have two students registered for the Saturday, May 12 workshop who will not be able to attend and are looking for a replacement.
If you didn’t buy a bolster on the first order, it’s not too late. I have just received another order and have them available here in my studio. Maybe just join the workshop and then see if it is something you want to continue to do at home.

Weekly Oil Offering: for the week we use a specific oil I will offer it for a 20% discount. This offer is only valid if ordered during that week. Respond and I will put you on the order list. If you were in class and you really liked the scent just let me know you can pay when I deliver the product.
The oil used this second week was ON Guard. If you are interested in a 15ml bottle, the retail cost is 42.67 plus tax, it is also available as a roll-on touch for $28. plus tax, the roll-on is directly from doTERRA, is refillable and I will explain to you how to do it as it can be a one time buy, keep the bottle. This oil from the 15ml bottle can also be used in the diffuser. Breathe is also available in many of the kits offered by doTERRA as well as a liquid hand soap, all purpose cleaner, ingestible beadlets and soft-gels, it is called the Protective Blend.

My 4th Annual Joshua Tree Retreat has only one room available, the room has both a double and single bed with its own private bathroom, ideal for two people. Please get in touch for details.

Available Classes if you have a friend or family member interested, receive a free class if they sign up!

My studio:
I usually suggest beginners to begin (if they can do a day time class or Saturday morning) in a Solution class which is slower and more adaptive to individual needs.

Space is only available in the following at my studio in OWV: Solution class on Tuesday at 10:30am. Wednesday and Thursday at 1pm. Gentle class on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (this one just filled), each having one space available. Please don’t forget I will pro-rate all newly joining students.
Founders Center: Monday and Thursday Gentle Yoga classes only has space available (Wednesday is full). I do take beginners in my evening classes at the Founders Center. Sign up directly through the center.
The Basic Chair class on Monday at 11:45am is still open, the Advanced Chair Class is full.

See you in class this week.
Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #3

Asana this week:

Name: Elbow Lifts: Sphinx, Wider & Wall

Plank: Sphinx, Regular
 on mat and Wall

Description:
Sphinx Lifts/Plank: Lie face down on the floor, raise your head and chest up by supporting yourself on your forearms. Place the elbows directly under the shoulders with hands extending forward. Firm the muscles of your arms. For the lifts, contract your belly muscles slightly taking the tail bone down and slowly begin lifting the elbows off the mat until they are approx. 90% straight, slowly returning them down until almost touching and raise again. Always being aware that the abdominal core is engaged.  For this version the elbows are always directly under the shoulders, follow the above directions and if you wish to lift to the sphinx plank, don’t think this is easy. Slowly begin lifting the buttocks first, but not higher than the shoulders, hold this first until you are comfortable before curling the toes under and lifting the knees. Inhale to lengthen., heels pushing back. Stretch and connect into one long line from shoulders to heels, suspended away from the floor. The correct angle between shoulders and heels you will feel because it is the hardest place to hold, if your buttocks is too high or too low it becomes much easier. Count the seconds…..
Wider Lifts/Plank: From sphinx position spread the elbows/forearms and hands almost as wide as your mat. From here always follow the important step of engaging the abdominal core before lifting the elbows, keeping them in line with the hands. Don’t let the shoulders do the lifing in any of these movements, keep them engaged but down. From this position you can also come up directly into a plank. If that does not happen than go into the plank from a prone position. This version being much easier than Sphinx Plank. Again…count the seconds but more of them.
Wall Lift/Plank: From this position you will be using your body weight, closer to the wall less and farther away more. Be mindful that the body stays straight like an unbendable piece of wood, head remaining in relation to the shoulders and heels down as much as possible. Notice the difference if the hands are lower on the wall or higher. Engage the abdominal core as usual and let the body release slowly towards the wall, if you do come in contact it should be the forehead to the front top of the head but not the head reaching, keep it in line with the torso. Exhale and move to the wall, inhale and return to position. Holding is the plank version.
Physical Benefits: to strengthen the core abdominal muscles, the muscles of the arms and shoulders.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Make sure the elbows and upper arms remain inward and do not flare out. Don’t overdue any of the above, begin slower and progress as you feel comfortable and depending upon the next days. If you engage the abdominal core you may very well feel the work on subsequent days. Slower is better and more!

Name: Gomukhasana -Cow Face R/L with Strap, Garudasana Arms -Eagle Arms Wrap R/L
Description: Gomukhasana -Cow Face Arms
Place a belt over your right shoulder in case you need it to connect your hands. Raise your right arm up in front of you and pat yourself on the back until you feel the strap and then hold on to it, palm should be facing inward. (you can also fully stretch your arms up beside your head and bend your elbow, the hand coming behind your head grasping the belt or reaching the fingers down). Take your left arm out to the size and let it be a pendulum with the palm facing back and thumb down. You should feel your shoulder blade slide toward the spine as you do this, slowly take the hand to your mid back and slide it inwards until it finds the strap, grab on to the strap. Slowly inch the hands towards each other. While finding a safe place on the strap or the fingers grasped on to each other you can raise or release the arms up and down. Lift and widen the front of the chest and look straight ahead. Be as content and centered as possible as you manage the pose. Release and repeat on the other side.
Physical Benefits: To stretch the shoulder flexors and extensors and move the rib-sternal connections.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Don’t try too hard to bring the hands together. At first, be content to reach towards the strap and just hold on to it.

Name: Garudasana Arms -Eagle Arms Wrap R/L
Description: Standing or sitting forward on your char with your spine tall and feet flat. Bring your arms in front of you, bend the elbows at ninety degrees, and point your hands up. Hook your right elbow inside your left elbow crease. Intertwine your forearms so that the fingers of your left hand hook onto the palm of your right hand. Inhaling, lift from inside your chest and pull your upper arms back into the shoulder sockets. Lift your elbows up, keeping your hands pointing straight up. remain like this for several breaths, then release and do the other side.
Physical Benefits: To produce a strong shoulder stretch that addresses the superior two-thirds of the trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, and trees minor. To move the ribs’ spinal joints.
Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Do not force it, if this is too difficult, do a simple crossover cactus which we will be doing this coming week in class.

General Class:
 Restorative with the Breath: with blanket across and lengthwise, Legs up the Wall or on a Chair.

Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Gate, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)
Prone: Heart Lifts, A-Symetrical Locust Lifts + Symetrical, Sphinx Elbow Lifts to Sphinx Plank, Wider Elbow Lifts to Full Plank


Standing/Balance: Wall Elbow Lifts (different hand heights), Cow Face R/L with Strap, Eagle Arms Wrap R/L
Chair: Scrunching the paper with the toes R/L, Knuckle Movements for each joint of the hands R/L, Individual Finger circles amidst stillness.
Savasana: Legs Up the Wall

Essential Oil: doTERRA “Breathe”
Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Cardamon, Melaluca, Lemon
, Ravintsara, and Ravensara,

Music: Deuter: “Healing Circle”

Quote:
‘Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”                                -Eckhart Tolle, Writer/public speaker
“There are no riches above a sound body.”     -Ecclesiastes 30:16

From Me to You:

Dear Students,
All scheduled Bolster Workshops are full. I will be offering, both Tuesday and Saturday afternoons, again towards the end of July. Thank you for your support, glad to hear so many of you enjoyed and are using the bolster. If you didn’t order one, it’s not too late. I have just received another order and have them available here in my studio.

Weekly Essential Oil Offering: for the week we use a specific oil I will offer that essential oil only for a 20% discount. This offer is valid if ordered during that week ending when classes begin again. Respond during the week or to this letter and I will put you on the order list. While you are in class and if you really like the scent just let me know.
The oil used this third week was Breathe. If you are interested in a 15ml bottle, the retail cost is $26.67 plus tax, it is also available as a roll-on touch for $17.33. plus tax, the roll-on is directly from doTERRA, is refillable and I will explain to you how to do it as it can be a one time buy, keep the bottle. These prices are before the discount. The oil from the 15ml bottle can also be used in the diffuser. Breathe is also available in many of the kits offered by doTERRA.

My 4th Annual Joshua Tree Retreat (Memorial Weekend from Friday 2pm to Sunday 2pm) has only one room available, the room has both a double and single bed with its own private bathroom, ideal for two people. Please get in touch for details.

Available Classes if you have a friend or family member interested, you receive a free class if they sign up!
My studio:
I usually suggest beginners to begin (if they can do a day time class or Saturday morning) in a Solution class which is slower and more adaptive to individual needs.

Solution: Space is only available in the following at my studio: Tuesday and 10:30am. Wednesday and Thursday at 1pm.

Gentle: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday each having one space available except for Saturday which has two spaces.

Founders Center:

Gentle: Monday and Thursday Yoga classes only has space available (Wednesday is full). I do take beginners in my evening classes at the Founders Center. Sign up directly through the center.
Basic Chair class on Monday at 11:45am is still open, the Advanced Chair class is full.

Hope to see you in class this week.
    Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #2

Reading from the Introduction of “Yoga for Arthritis” by Dr. Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall

Serendipitously or not, arthritis and yoga fit: the lock and the key, the illness and the antidote. Arthritis restricts movement, yoga increases range of motion – these two were made for each other. The inevitable pounding, flexing, and grinding the human body experiences during life have pressured it to evolve many anatomical cushions, but alas, they too inevitably suffer from life’s buffeting. The incessant minor traumas add up, damaging the cushioning apparatus and eventually the structures they protect, increasing pain and instability, and reducing flexibility at the only places we can bend: the joints. Yoga has been shown to improve the microenvironment of the cartilage and elastic parts of the joint and add no trauma. And for thousand of years it has been know to increase flexibility. In this book we provide a scientific justification for using yoga to treat arthritis.

Asana this week:

Name: The Cloud Salutation
Any movement of the body releases energy. On some days, the world is shrouded in a damp fog of yin energy: vigorous movement just isn’t in the cards. On some days you just want to be a cloud and float. Floating is still moving and even while floating you can practice awareness and balance. Cloud Salutation is a wonderful way to move with the flow of life when it is quiet, or when you need to build some quiet in your life.
When you flow in the Cloud Salutation, move slowly, gracefully, like a cloud floating upon the wind of your breath. Once you have leaned the graceful movements of the clouds, you can challenge yourself even more: move like the clouds move, with their eyes closed. Clouds don’t look where they are going: they don’t even care where they are going – they just go. Keep your breath calm, even if you begin to wobble.  If the wobbling becomes too dramatic, open your eyes; come back to the original flow for a few cycles. This flow can become addicting. Enjoy it.

Description:
Consisting of three breaths on each side, begin with the right, continue with the left. This is one round.
Begin by stand in a firm, grounded mountain pose, arms at the side. Hugging/engaging the legs and lifting the crown of the head, strong Tadasana.
Inhale and lift the arms overhead.  Exhale and bring the knee up to hip level, always with foot flexed when lifted.
Inhale take the arms out to the sides.  Exhale move the knee out to the side.
Inhale bringing the arms overhead and the knee back to center. Exhale and slowly return both back to original position.
Do multiple rounds.
Keep repeating the flow, alternating sides and when you are done return to your mountain, close your eyes and feel the flow still moving inside you.
 You can also close your eyes during the flow when you feel comfortable doing so.

Physical Benefits: Working on your balance and lengthening the breath. Strengthening the leg, opening the hips. Maintaining good posture.

Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: Instead of lifting the knee to the front and side, bend the knee and rest on the toes touching the floor, to the front and sides.
You can begin this flow by leaning against the wall for support, eventually free standing. It is a slow process to do with the eyes closed. If you can use a ‘drishti’  fairly close to the face it will make the balance easier, a point of focus.  I would suggest lifting the knee, as often as possible, while standing on one leg, with a pause. Working on this until the knee is hip height forward and out, notice how taking the knee out to the side will interfere with your balance.

Name: Hands Movements: Finger Push-Ups, Digital Roly-Poly, Prayer Position.

Finger Push-Ups: Can be done either sitting/standing at a table/desk or standing facing a wall. Placing the hands flat and spread wide on a surface, with good body posture/shoulders back and wide. Push your fingers into the surface, pulling them together as the knuckles and palms lift. Drawing the fingers down and inward as they slide to meet. Spread flat again and repeat 5-10x’s.   This movement will strengthen the muscles that flex the fingers, and increase range of motion for flexion.

Digital Roly-Poly: Sitting or standing, hold your hands at a comfortable height in front of you. Interlace the fingers. make fluid figure-of-eight shapes with your wrists, moving at a comfortable speed and with as little tension as possible in your fingers. Keep the elbows close to the body. Do 10x’s. Reverse the direction of the figure-of-eight and repeat.
This movement will coordinate and mobilize all the finger and wrist joint with multi-directional movement. Start slowly and stay loose!

Prayer Position:
Sitting or standing, join your palms together in front of the chest pressing the four corners together. Inhale while moving them straight up and overhead trying to bring the upper arms near the ears. Retain the strong connection of the palms. Slowly on the exhale, lower them until they are in front of your chest again. Pause there.
Then continue moving them downward as the heel of the palm and then the palms will slowly part, eventually only a few fingers on each hand will be touching at the tips. Pause. Slowly moving upward and bringing all together until the hands are back to the beginning position.
Then begin to angle the hands pointing away from the body and eventually down towards the floor. You may then be able to bring them up but only slightly, being mindful that you do not lift the shoulders at any time.
This movement will improve wrist extension at varying angles, which will stretch the wrist flexor muscles and increase mobility of the carpal and metacarpal bones.

General Class:


Restorative with the Breath: with blanket across and lengthwise, legs on a chair.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend

Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose…. Updog/Plank/Down-Dog (your choice of four different asana in a flow)


Supine: Tibetan #2/Leg Lifts, Bridge

Standing/Balance: The Cloud Salutation, reviewed Forward Folding/Making an Avocado Sandwich, Breath of Joy

Chair: Hand movements x3 (can do standing),  Alternative Pigeon with hips higher than knees/FF, Stretching toes on floor in both directions, moving them backwards.

Savasana:

Essential Oil:  doTerra “Peace” (a good choice for tax week)
 Vetiver, Lavender, Ylang, Ylang, Clary Safe, Marjoram, Spearmint
If you are interested in a 5ml bottle, just let me know, no payment necessary until you receive the product. The cost for retail, including a 10% discount is $33.60 plus tax. It is also available as a roll-on touch for $22.13. plus tax, the roll-on is directly from doTerra, is refillable and I will explain to you how to do it as it can be a one time buy, keep the bottle. Since Peace is included in the 6 Emotional blends, it is also available in a kit of all 6 or a roll-on touch kit including all six blends. The six blends are Motivate, Cheer, Passion, Console, Forgive and Peace. The kits are pricey but the individual bottles are more, the size is small, the quality strong and they go a long way so you will have them for a long time, worth an investment if you like them. I also use them in the diffuser.

Music: Deuter: “East of the Moon”

Quote:
“Everybody get so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” -Gertrude Stein

My thoughts: What would she say now, 100 years later, to this present time of what is often referred to as ‘information overload’. She could say that we not only lose our common sense but our mind’s as well.

Miscellaneous:  
From Me to You:
Dear Students,

Just added, due to multiple request an additional Bolster Workshop, it will be on Tuesday, April 24 from 1-3:30, space is available.

I will also be offering the same workshop on Saturday, May 12, this Saturday date is almost full.

If you are interested in either, just send me an email (student@…)and I will give you a reservation number. If these workshops fill I will be offering the next one later on this summer. If you didn’t order a bolster you can still attend the workshop as I will supply the bolsters for the workshop.. I have decided to put in another order of bolsters if you are looking for one.

I strongly suggest we should all work on our balance and not limit it to Tree. Try the cross legs and/or knee forward and up, these can both be done with no prep and on the spur of the moment, often. Balance is accumulative, the more you do it the better it gets. Be mindful of the surface where you are standing and something to hold on to if you loose your balance. A narrow hallway is perfect with a wall behind and one in front for focus. Find the spot and whenever you pass it, stop and balance. Stick with it and you will feel the difference. I’m doing it with you!

My 4th Annual Joshua Tree Retreat has only one room available, the room has both a double and single bed with its own private bathroom, ideal for two people. Please get in touch for details.

Available Classes if you have a friend or family member interested:

My studio:
   I usually suggest beginners to begin (if they can do a day time class or Saturday morning) in a Solution class which is slower and more adaptive to individual needs.

Space is only available in the following at my studio: Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30am. Wednesday and Thursday at 1pm.  
Gentle class on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, each having one space available except for Saturday which has two spaces.

Founders Center: Only Monday and Thursday Gentle Yoga classes has space available (Wednesday is full). I do take beginners in my evening classes at the Founders Center. Sign up directly through the center.
The Basic Chair class on Monday at 11:45am is still open, the Advanced/1 hour Class at 10:30am is full.
See you in class this week.

Until…
RoxAnn

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2018 – #1

Asana this week:

Name: Breath of Joy (FOU Ha)
The Breath of Joy awakens your whole system. It increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream,
temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, circulating more prana.
A forceful exhalation lightly detoxifies the body and helps release pent-up tension.
After completing several rounds, the parasympathetic system (which sustains the body at rest) kicks in,
leaving the mind calm and focused. The result is a state of homeostatic balance that the yogis call sattva.
These qualities make Breath of Joy especially effective in managing mood. The practice counters the shallow upper chest breathing of anxiety by inviting the breath to fill every milliliter of the lungs. Like a strong bright wind, it also sweeps away the sluggishness of depression, lethargy, and infuses the mind with a serene sense of clarity.

I suggest to start the day (after your Morning-Wake-Up Stretch) with a dozen Breath of Joy.
To sweep out the FOU of the sleep and greet the day with a Ha!

Description:
To practice Breath of Joy, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent.
Inhale one-third of your lung capacity and swing your arms up in front of your body/F , bringing them parallel to each other at shoulder level, with palms facing the ceiling.
Continue inhaling to two-thirds capacity and stretch your arms out to the side/O like wings to shoulder level.
Inhale to full capacity and swing your arms parallel and up/over your head/U, palms facing each other.
Open your mouth and exhale completely with an audible Ha, bending the knees more deeply as you sink into a standing squat (depending upon the strength of you legs) and swing your arms down and back behind you like a diver.
Repeat a dozen or so times. Don’t force or strain the body or breath; simply be absorbed by the peacefully
stimulating rhythm. Return to standing. Close your eyes and experience the effects. Notice how quickly your heart beats; feel the sensations in your face and arms, and the tingling in the palms of your hands.

Physical Benefits:

Precautions/Adaptations/Variations: This practice may not be appropriate for everyone. Skip it if you have high blood pressure or if you suffer from any kind of head or eye injury, like migraines or glaucoma. If you start to feel light-headed, instead of lighthearted, stop for a minute and just breathe normally.

Name: Making an avocado sandwich!

Description: How do you forward fold? Not at the waist but at the hinge joint of the body, I hope.

Please follow this link for a well done explanation.
BEND YOUR KNEES, do not bend forward without first bending your knees. How much? It’s an individual call.
Place the hands, with the palms facing up, on the front of the body between legs and hips where the valley begins when you bend forward. Imagine you have half an avocado sitting on each hand, carefully bend forward, making your sandwich and bend your knees according to your hamstrings. If you can’t bend too much forward you will notice that with more bend in the knees you may be able to come a little more, do not round out the back, keep the natural cures.  Aligning the head and shoulders with the back until you have completely folded. When you decide to come up, lead with the heart and not the head or you may make yourself dizzy.

Physical Benefits: Moving as the body was made to do.

Name: Balancing with Crossed Legs & Forward Fold

Description: Please read Precautions/Adaptions/Variations before proceeding.
Cross one foot over the other and cross your arms over your chest. Hinging at the hips, forward fold, lowering your head/letting it dangle and eventually close your eyes. The elbows can move away from the body. Repeat on the other side.

Physical Benefits: working on your balance, stretching your hamstrings, all benefits of a forward fold.

PrecautionsAdaptations/Variations: Always have a micro bend of the knees, if the hamstrings are tight you may need to bend the knees accordingly.
Begin with the buttocks touching the wall before you attend to do this exercise free standing.
Be mindful that you forward fold from your hinging joint and not from the waist.

General Class:
Restorative with the Breath: with blanket across and lengthwise, legs on a chair.


Attunement/Starting Pose/Supine: Morning Wake-Up Stretch, Hip Openers with Bent Legs(Small Circles Together, Circles Apart and Large, In/Out Together), Ankles/Wrists Flex-Extend


Warm-Up/Prone: Child’s Pose, Walk to the Right/Left, Thread the Needle, Cat n’ Cow, Balancing Cat, Child’s Pose to Updog Flow
Supine: Sacrum & Knee Series, Tibetan #2/Leg Lifts

Standing: (including Balance) Forward Folding/Making an Avocado Sandwich, Breath of Joy
Chair: Nyasam (sliding hand movements), Twist R/L

Savasana: Didn’t happen in many classes this week!

Essential Oil: doTerra “Citrus Bliss”
Oil from the peel of the following: wild Orange, Citrus/Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin Orange, Bergamot, Tangerine, Clementine, Vanilla Bean

Music: Deuter: “Sea and Silence”

Quote:
Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” – Jason Crandell

At the end, it is not the years in your life that count it’s the life in our years.” -A. Lincoln

Miscellaneous:   Suggest reading regarding health and diet: “Medical Medium”, “Life Changing Food” and “Thyroid” all three by Anthony William.

From Me to You:

Dear Students,
welcome back to class as we begin our Spring Session of either 8 or 9 weeks.

The theme this session is Arthritis. All work will be based upon my studies at LMU, recent clinical studies on the subject and “Yoga for Arthritis” by Dr. Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltanstall.

Our next Bolster Workshop is this Tuesday, it is full. I will be offering the next one on Saturday, May 12. I am already receiving sing-ups but there is still space available, just send me an email (student@…)and I will give you a reservation number. If this workshop fills I will be offering the next one on a Tuesday afternoon but probably not until later in the summer. If you didn’t order a bolster you can still attend the workshop as I will supply the bolsters. I can then direct you how to acquire your own bolster.

Props: I do have a supply of new blankets($15. plus tax), as well as the usually blocks, straps and sandbags(@$10.)

The oil used this past week was Citrus Bliss, one of my favorites. If you are interested in a 15ml bottle, just let me know, no payment necessary until you receive the product. The cost for retail, including a 10% discount is $18 plus tax. It is also available as a roll-on touch for $15. including tax, the roll-on is refillable and I will explain to you how to do it as it is a one time buy, keep the bottle.

My 4th Annual Joshua Tree Retreat has only one room available, the room has both a double and single bed with its own private bathroom, ideal for two people. Please get in touch for details.

There are a few class spaces available in some of the Solution and Gentle classes. If you have a friend or family member interested, encourage them to join us for the season.

Available Classes:

My studio:
I usually suggest beginners to begin (if they can do a day time class or Saturday morning) in a Solution class which is slower and more adaptive to individual needs.
Space is only available in the following at my studio: Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30am. Wednesday and Thursday at 1pm.
Gentle class on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, each having one space available except for Saturday which has two spaces.

Founders Center: Monday and Thursday Gentle Yoga classes only has space available (Wednesday is full). I do take beginners in my evening classes at the Founders Center. Sign up directly through the center.

The Basic Chair class on Monday at 11:45am is still open, the Advanced Class is full.

See you in class this week.
Until…

RoxAnn

 

 

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