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 Spring Session 2019– #6

General Class Sequencing:
Attunement:
Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair(or up the wall) with blanket across and lengthwise. Arms in cactus.

Supine:
Morning Wake-Up Stretch: 
printable link on my website.
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, Balancing Cat-Challenging/Static

Yoga Snack – short Vinyasa flow with the breath, your choice of Asana.

JOINT FREEING SERIES – ENERGY FREEING PRACTICE (Pavamuktasana) by Mikunda Stiles

Pavanmuktasana = pawana means namely air, wind or the vital breath
Mukta = free
Asana = “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed”

The following series: Pavanmuktasana, moves every joint gently and systematically throughout its full and natural range of motion representing all the basic motions of the body. Starting with the feet and ankles, moving up to the knees, hips, torso, and spine and finishing with the neck.

It is suggested when you first do this series, to evaluate your joint suppleness. Possibly keeping a record of how your mobility compares to the standards of range of motion shown on the illustration, you can print out the PDF. Unfortunately, this PDF does not have the degrees/percentages as is shown in his book “Structural Yoga Anatomy”.

Link to the Charts:

The version I have chosen to teach does not just concentrate on the digestive benefits of the series but works on expelling the stagnant air of the body joints. The motions described in this series represent all the basic motions of the body. I did add some toes and fingers which we have covered in class and which I cover more extensively in my 2 1/2 hr. workshop call “A Walk Thru the Body”. This series is also a part of my available DVD’s Volume 1 which you can buy directly from me for $10.

One advantage of this series is that it can be performed regardless of any age, taking into consideration some adaptations, depending upon bodily restrictions.

This series has many other benefits but just to mention a few:
1. Giving a heightened awareness and distinction between stretching and contracting muscles.
2. Relieving joint pain and stiffness, if a joint is stiff, it lacks full mobility.
3. To observe and diagnose areas for comparative freedom as in the movement of the wrist, does one or both possible try to rotate when you flex or move smoothly. Early phases of carpal tunnel can be noticed from possibly excessive keyboarding.
4. Isolate muscles and test for comparative strength and stamina.
5. Alleviate conditions associated with poor circulation by focusing on making complete motions of each joint systematically which moves synovial fluid within the joint capsule and enhances vascular circulation.
6. Especially beneficial for those with limited mobility due to injuries and arthritis.
7. Combining the breath with the movement in order to stay focused and not to ‘space out’
….there are more explanations and reasons listed in the book.

How to and where to begin:
Preforming each movement 6x on each side while engaging the Ujjaye breath and being mindful that we only Inhale on the extension or straightening of the joint and Exhale on the flexing or contracting.

This regular practice of harmonizing the breath with motion increases self-awareness and this in turn can be reflected in all activities of life.

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed
Essential Oil: Shaklee Basic-H including bottles and Scour-Off.
Music:  Oskar Schuster “Solo”

 

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2019– #5

This weeks class has been a repeat of the second class held this session.

You can scroll down to my Weekly Review Spring Session 2019 – #2 in this session and find details for the following:

General Class Sequencing, Attunement, Warm-UP, Think Taller – Posture Visualization/Observation, 4- 1 minute sequences on the wall – Push-Ups and Squats,  Decompression Series on the Back/Supine x6.

What has not been the same this past week is the following:

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed with hand on the rib cage/feel the expansion and contraction of the breath.
Essential Oil: doTerra “Revitalizing Body Butter” with Wild Orange, Douglas Fir and Frankincense, a refreshing moment of nature for the skin.
Music:  Parijat “The Healing Path”

Quote: the following is by Viktor Frankl “The Meaning of Life”

The Way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails..

The Way in which he takes up his cross  – gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life.

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2019– #4

General Class Sequencing:

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

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:
Inhale for Cow with added pointing toes and Exhale for Cat with curled toes -pressing down on each and feeling the work being done in the legs. Don’t be surprised if the toes/feet cramp in the beginning this will eventually go away. With the added foot movement the actual asana of cat n’ cow will move much slower which will emphasize and challenge the breath, creating more awareness.

Balancing Cat:
Inhale: reach with R leg back -flexing foot and L arm forward -reaching with wide fingers
Exhale: bring R leg bent/knee towards chest and L arm back bringing elbow to L hip -keeping hand engaged and facing midline
continue 3x on each side and do 2 sets ending with Child’s Pose resting the wrists
Continue with Balancing Cat for 6 breaths in the ‘still point’ with nothing moving/hold.
After the 6 breaths you can reach back for the ankle if you would like or not.
Repeat on the other side

Prone:
Yoga Snack: no prep necessary, just a short vinyasa flow which consists of 2 or more asana, concentrating the movement to be in tune with the breath.
ex: Child’s Pose/Puppy (exhale) to Up-dog (Inhale) return and repeat x6 or more.
Can add: Cobra, Plank/Side-Plank, Down-Dog. Lunge R/L to make a longer vinyasa but add slowly as the body warms up and your time allows.

Alternative: Keeping knees down on the mat during Up-Dog, Plank and Down-Dog.

Additional ideas under General Short Flow Sequences (DVD Vol.2)

The following is a from copulation from the book “Yoga for Osteoporosis” by Dr. Loren Fishman M.D., he calls the list the “All Stars”.
We did many of the following in classes this past week and since everything is from previous classes I have not given descriptions in detail. Those listed below can be found in the archives of weekly reviews.

Please check out and print the following link: Yoga & Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Prevention Asana 1-10″ 

Standing:

Tadasana + Versions

Forward Fold with Half-Way Up

Downward Facing Dog incl. free standing/at wall/with chair/slight lift of the knees

Lunge w/wo chair

Warrior I static/dynamic

Warrior II to Side Angle in/out

Triangle

Wide-Open Stance w. FF and R/L -free/at wall/using chair/table w blocks

Tree

Sitting:

Spinal Twist in Chair or on Mat

Forward Fold in Chair or on Mat option using strap/block

Boat

Prone:

Childs Pose/Puppy

Balancing Cat/Table Dog

Cobra + Sphinx/Various Arm Placements to Up-dog

Supine:

Legs Up the Wall with Various Leg Movement and Stretches
or Legs Up Free Standing using a strap over the bottoms of the feet with movement

Bridge

Windshield Wipers

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed
Essential Oil: doTerra “Melaluca/Tea Tree Oil ”
Music:  Deuter

Quote:

The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.

Don’t Make Assumptions/Discern the Truth: “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, then we react by sending emotional poison with our word. This creates a who big drama for nothing.”

by Don Migual Ruiz

Anagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, is dedicated to sharing his knowledge of the teachings of the ancient Toltec.
Don Miguel is the New York Times bestselling author of: The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love plus many more… He lives in San Diego, California.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Suggested books for yoga:
Yoga for Dummies by Dr. Larry Payne and Georg Feurstein
Yoga as Medicine by Dr. Timothy McCall M.D.

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2019– #3

General Class Sequencing:
Attunement:
Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair(or up the wall) with blanket across and lengthwise. Arms in cactus.
Supine:
Morning Wake-Up StretchPrintable 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:
continue with the addition of feet flexion/extension as explained in previous weekly review.

Balancing Cat:
continue with the addition of nose/knee and elbow/hip as explained in previous weekly review.

Yoga Snack: no prep necessary, just a short sequence which consists of 2 or more asana, concentrating the movement in tune with the breath.
ex: Child’s Pose, Puppy (exhale) to Up-dog (Inhale) return and repeat x6 or more.
Can add: Cobra, Plank/Side-Plank, Down-Dog. Lunge R/L to make a longer vinyasa but add slowly as the body warms up and your time allows.

Additional ideas under General Short Flow Sequences (DVD Vol.2)

On the Abdomen (Prone):
It is important to build up tolerance to be able to lay on your abdomen for a period of time, even if you are unable to do asana/movement/posture in this position.

General Position: Lie on your abdomen with your forehead resting on your hands or hands slightly above head if resting on them does not feel comfortable, legs straight/hip width apart.
Release as much of the front of the body onto the floor as possible, while lengthening the legs and spreading the elbows.
Remain in this position for 5-15 minutes.

Though out all the following movements try to keep the forehead on the blanket/hands, try not to turn to the right or left or rest on the chin. But, of course never do anything which may be painful, stop immediately, seek professional advise.

*Whenever the Pelvic Press(PP) is performed also tighten the lower abdominals and pelvic floor at the same time.

Do not hold your breath for any of these movements. Keep the breath flowing, sometimes a little slower with a moment pause/not hold between the two parts of the breath.

1. Pelvic Press (PP)

1. Lie on your abdomen in the prone position placing the hands, palms up, thumbs extended and possibly touching, under the pelvis with the heels of the hands on the prominent pelvic bones, fingers pointing toward the public bone.
2. Feel the weight of your body on your hands and gradually increase this weight by pressing your pelvic into your hands.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3-5x.

Do not do a pelvic tilt. This exercise strengthens the buttocks, upper hamstrings and lower back extensors.

2. Sternal Press (SP)

1. Lie on your abdomen in the prone position, arms out to the sides in a “W’ position (similar to cactus but slide the elbows below the shoulder height). You may place a small cloth under both forehead and sternum is necessary.
2. Press the serum into the towel (this is the breast bone between your ‘shining light’ and ‘multi faceted jewel’)
3. Hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3-5x.

3. Head Lift (HL)

1. Lie on abdomen, forehead resting on hands (or a folded towel), palms down, head not turned to either side. Perform the PP and SP while also tightening the lower abdominals and pelvic floor*.
2. Tuck the chin very slightly and hold as you raise your head straight up off the hands or blanket. As you lift your head you should pretend you are looking in a mirror directly under the face and continue to see your entire face in this imaginary mirror.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3-5x.

The actual movement is very small, but you must do the exercise correctly to get the most benefit.
Do not tilt your chin up as you lift your head.
Do no press on your arms, which would raise your upper body as you lift your head.
This exercise stretches the tight structure on the front of the neck while strengthening the muscles that hold the head up against the force of gravity. It may not feel comfortable for everyone, especially if you are holding your head in a forward head syndrome.

4. Pelvis Press with Knee Bends

1. Start with the PP.
2. Slowly bend one knee and bring the heel toward the buttocks as close as you can while holding the PP.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Repeat the same process but this time do not engage the PP until after you have brought each heel separately towards the buttock.
5. Repeat both of the above techniques each with both legs bending at the same time.
6. Repeating each option 2x.

When lifting legs, keep head down and do not twist the body.
Stretches the rectus femurs muscle on the front of the thigh.
Strengthens the muscles on the back of the legs/hamstrings.

5. Prone Arm Lifts

1. Lie on your abdomen, head in neutral position, forehead on folded towel, arms extended up alongside your head, each movement can be done with palms down or facing each other. Try both and see which works best for you.
2. Perform PP and SP
3. Lengthen both arms slightly along the floor, keeping elbows straight, raise one arm off the floor.
4. Hold for 3 seconds, relax, Repeat 1-2x. Repeat with other arm. Then both arms together.

When lifting arms do so straight towards the ceiling, Do not allow arm to move out to the side or rotate.
Once you can do this easily, try holding small weights in your hands.
This exercise strengthens the shoulder girdle muscles that help stabilize the body for shoulder movement.

6. Prone Leg Lifts                                                                                            
1. Lie on abdomen, hands under pelvis or towel under hips, arms at sides. Do a PP.
2. Lengthen one leg from the waist, sliding front of leg along the floor, Keeping knee straight.
3. Lift from the waist and raise one leg off the floor, do not lift the corresponding hip.
4. Hold for 3 seconds, relax, Repeat 1-2x. Repeat with other leg. Then repeat using both legs together.

Caution: Be sure to engage and keep the PP as you lift, especially when lifting both legs together. These two exercises are strenuous.
Do not hold your breath.
These exercises strengthen the large hip extensors/buttocks and upper hamstrings that help you get out of a chair and go up and down steps.
Plus strengthening the lower back extensors that help hold your back up against the force of gravity.

Alternative with Knees Bends

1. Bend both knees to a 90degree angle so the bottom of the feet face up toward the ceiling. Do the PP.
2. Keeping knees bent, lift from your waist and raise one leg off the floor, straight up towards the ceiling. Do not point your toes.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, relax. Repeat 1-2x. Repeat with other leg. Then repeat using both legs together.

This exercise targets the gluteus maximus muscle, the primary hip extensor that helps you get up out of a chair.

7. Prone Leg/Arm Lifts

1. Lie on your abdomen, head in neutral position, forehead on folded towel if necessary, arms extended up alongside your head, each movement can be done with palms down or facing each other.
2. Perform PP and SP
3. Lengthen both arms and legs.
4. Hold for 3 seconds each as you do the following lifts: R/arm-R leg, L/arm-L leg, R/arm-L/leg, L/arm-R/leg, basically same side lifts and then opposite.
5. Repeat each lift 1-2x.

When lifting arms or legs, keep head down and do not twist your body.
Raise arms by using the shoulder blades, not the shoulders, keeping arms close to head with straight elbows.
Raise legs with the knees straight, lifting from the waist.
This exercise strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades, hip extensors and back extensors (buttocks and upper hamstrings) which are the muscles that hold back and head up against the force of gravity.

8. Upper Body Lifts x6

-most of these are the same body set up as in the first example except for the arms

Arms Alongside Body:
1. Lie on your abdomen, head in neutral position, with forehead on folded towel, arms alongside body, elbows straight, palms down or facing body.
2. Perform and hold PP and HL
3. Squeeze backbone with shoulder blades towards mid-line.
4. Your shoulder and arms will come off the floor in this position, then raise chest. Hold 3 seconds, relax repeat 1-5x.

Clasped Hands/Steeple: arms long and laying on buttocks/do not lift, hands interlaced, steeple index fingers pointing to feet.

“T”: arms directly out to the sides, shoulder height

“W”: cactus with elbows slightly lower than shoulders

Suspension Bridge on knuckes: elbows bent and facing up to ceiling in line with shoulders, fist/knuckles on floor directly under elbows, lifting arms and possibly chest

Arms Overhead: as before

Combination with Shoulder Blade Squeeze: three positions during 3-5 second count: overhead, “T” and alongside body. Can also be done in reverse. Be sure to pause between each placement but stay engaged.

To counter this work in a prone position, at the end one can always lay supine bringing the knees to the chest and make a ball of the body, squeezing, rocking and circles whichever feel like a good release of the lower back. Especially helpful if the core is not strong and was not always engaged upon movement.

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed
Essential Oil: doTerra “Serenity” -the restful blend in 15ml bottle plus soft gels to swallow.
Music:  Deuter

MISCELLANEOUS:
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” -Moliere

Do you know Greta? Here is a link to my most recent post. If this post touches you than please forward to others. Each of us doing our part to spread the word.

https://yogatherapyalacarte.com/2019/04/18/do-u-know-greta/

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2019– #2

General Class Sequencing

Attunement:

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

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:
Inhale for Cow with added pointing toes and Exhale for Cat with curled toes -pressing down on each and feeling the work being done in the legs. Don’t be surprised if the toes/feet cramp in the beginning this will eventually go away. With the added foot movement the actual asana of cat n’ cow will move much slower which will emphasize and challenge the breath, creating more awareness.

Balancing Cat:
Inhale: reach with R leg back -flexing foot and L arm forward -reaching with wide fingers
Exhale: bring R leg bent/knee towards chest and L arm back bringing elbow to L hip -keeping hand engaged and facing midline
continue 3x on each side and do 2 sets ending with Child’s Pose resting the wrists
Continue with Balancing Cat for 6 breaths in the ‘still point’ with nothing moving/hold.
After the 6 breaths you can reach back for the ankle if you would like or not.
Repeat on the other side

Prone:
Cobra to Up-Dog: coming up as far as possible without allowing the shoulders to lift or the elbows to spread out.

Yoga Snack: just a short sequence which consists of 2 or more asana, concentrating the movement in tune with the breath.
ex: Child’s Pose, Puppy (exhale) to Up-dog (Inhale) return and repeat x6 or more.
Can add: Cobra, Plank/Side-Plank, Down-Dog. Lunge R/L to make a longer vinyasa but add slowly as the body warms up and your time allows.

Alternative: Keeping knees down on the mat during Up-Dog, Plank and Down-Dog.

Additional ideas under General Short Flow Sequences (DVD Vol.2)

Standing: Posture…..

The following is a journey using visualization for your posture.

Think Taller -it can actually make you taller.

Yogi’s have been know to report an increase in height as they age, I have had students who have recorded almost up to 1 inch increase after subsequent years of yoga practice. Plus many who say their doctors are interested because they have not lost any height over the years. We do not have to shrink as the years pass….

1. We will start first at the feet creating and being aware of a triangle of foundation in each foot.
Standing with the feet hip width apart and the second toe of each foot facing forward.
Draw an imaginary triangle. Beginning with a point at the base of the big toe at the toe pad continuing to the little toe pad and from these two points directly to the heel where these two lines connect. Here you have your triangle, this is your base and foundation. Feel it! Place slightly more pressure on the outside line and feel the arch lift.

2. Up to the Pelvic Area: place your hands level on your waist/top of your hips/iliac crest with the thumbs forward. If that is not comfortable than turn the thumbs backward or close the hands and place the palm on the tip of the hips.
Tilt the pelvic girdle back and forth, this is a very important movement in your yoga practice. Easy and fluidness is necessary in order to achieve many yoga asanas but here we want to see if your pelvis is level, pretend your pelvis is a bucket and you must keep the bucket level since it is filled to the brim with water.
Depending how you stand, you may have to tuck your tailbone under or stick it out slightly, most people need to tuck it under ever so slightly. One way of checking this out is by looking at yourself sideways in a mirror to help determine which movement is right for you in order to hold the bucket in a level position.

3. You can add a blanket rolled between the top of the legs and squeeze it with your thigh muscles, hold, do not bend the knees but lengthen your mid-section with your hands on the top of your hips at the waist and then to the bottom of your rib cage. Stretch, think taller!
How much space do you feel between these two points: hips and bottom rib? Can you find the space of four fingers or just one, inhale lengthen the torso, exhale and see where you come to but always think taller.

4. Walk the hands up the inner/bottom side of the ribcage until they meet, at this point you may feel a little bone shaped like a marble, the zyphoid process. Imagine this little marble is a large round beacon of light. When you are standing or sitting with good posture your beacon shines forever. When you are slouched your light goes out within a short distance in front of you. Which do you want? I would like to think that my light is shining forever.

5. Let the fingers continue traveling along the sternum and the medial sides of the ribcage until you come to the vicinity of the collarbones. You will feel a little valley between and slightly above and in this valley visualizing a jewel resting. The jewel of your choice, bright and multi-faceted. The location is called the manubrium. If you chin/head is held down and or forward your jewel will not find any light to reflect it’s beauty.

6. At this same location visualize a shelf extending out from the manubrium and on this small shelf sits a cup of hot coffee. Movement of the body, maybe just walking, without spilling the coffee while keeping the shelf parallel to the floor.

7. Fisherman in the Attic/Ceiling -with a fishing line attached to my hair at the crown towards the rear. He is reeling me up as my spine lengthens and I gain that space which poor posture is trying to rob from me.

8. Visualization……to seeing by Observation. Just watching others and seeing what poor postural habits look like in all sizes, shapes and ages.

Standing:

Yogi Push-Ups at the Wall & Wall Squats w -4 x 1 minute @

Supine:

Decompresssion Series

Site-Specific Exercises on the Back/Supine

General Set Up: Lie on your back, hips and knees bent, legs hip distance apart, feet flat on the floor with the foot triangle of support, toes pointed straight ahead.

Making sure your head is not tilted forward or backward, chin neither towards your neck or pointing up. Chin should be level with forehead. Use a blanket under the hear or neck to achieve this level but do not place the blanket under your shoulders as this can throw off your postural alignment.

Arms at the sides, slightly away from body approx. 10 inches, palms up, back of hands on the floor. Elbows and shoulders should be about the same level. If not use a blanket to achieve this either on one side or possibly both.

Lie in this position 5-15 minutes, more if you like, often if you choose. Try to avoid becoming distracted with any extenuating activity: animals, TV, radio, reading, kids.

All the following are done in the above position unless when noted differently, please read each one completely before beginning. Once you are familiar with the individual series movements you can combine specific movement.

1. Shoulder Press


Pressing one shoulder downward toward the floor, begin on one side only.

Hold 3 (count slowly) seconds, then Release, Relax and Repeat 3-5x. Switch sides.

Continue to both shoulders pressing down at the same time. If it is difficult to press both shoulders at the same time, press one at a time.

If you can’t press one down, just be there for a time/often and eventually it will happen.

Do ‘not’ do any of the following: hunch your shoulders toward your ears, arch your lower back, ‘roll’ your arms in/out or press your elbows into the floor.

2. Head Press


Feel the weight of your head on the floor.

Hold your chin in position (tilted or tucked) and press the back of your head into the floor or other support/blanket.

Hold 3 seconds, then Release, Relax. and Repeat 3-5x.

If you can not do this without any discomfort then just begin by doing the chin tuck/tilt without the press, touching the back of your neck and feeling the muscles which you contract in this movement.

Additional:

Keeping head in contact with blanket/floor do the following, each movement slowly co-ordinated with the breath: Tilting chin to chest on exhale/sliding chin to point to ceiling on inhale, rotating right on exhale/return to center on inhale/repeat left, lateral release of the ear right on exhale/return to center on inhale/repeat left.

These are the three movements which I suggest on a daily basis for the neck and the thoracic/lumber spine (which can be done sitting or standing).

3. Leg Lengthener

Straighten one leg down on the floor, keep leg in alignment with hip, not rotated in/out, kneecap pointed toward ceiling.

Extend the heel but do not let it lift off the mat (this would be hyperextending the knee) and pull toes and forefoot toward the knee/hold.

“Lengthen” the leg by pulling your pelvis away from your ribs.

Hold 3 sec, Release, Relax, Repeat again 2-3x, then re-bend your knee and repeat with the other leg.

Repetitions: R/L, two rounds.

The lengthening movement should occur in the lower back. Do not lift opposite hip.

4. Leg Press

You should feel the muscles on the front of your thigh, buttocks and lower back contract during this exercise.

Imagine you are on the beach and want to make an indentation of your leg in the sand.

Set up the leg same as #3 except instead of lengthening, press the entire leg down into the floor.

Hold 3 sec, Release, Relax, Repeat again, then re-bend your knee and repeat with the other leg.

When you are comfortable working with one leg at a time, do the exercise also as follows: with both legs together, with legs parallel/hip distance apart and as wide as the mat.. Same hold and repetition.

5. Arm Lengthener

When you are able to rest your arms comfortably on the floor alongside your head, many activities that involve reaching will become easier.

In Supine with both knees bent and feet flat. Arms at side, palms down or facing body.

Keeping the elbows straight, bring one arm up and alongside your head.

“Lengthen’ arm by pulling rib cage up and away from the pelvis.

Hold 3 seconds, Release, Relax, keeping arm straight and alongside your head, then Repeat.

Return to starting position still keeping elbow straight. Repeat with the other arm, alternating 4-6 times with each arm.

After you are comfortable moving one arm at a time, you can do the exercise with both arms at the same time.

6. Arm Press

To receive the best benefit from this exercise, your arm MUST have something to press against, a blanket or pillow under the arm is usually necessary for most people. More is better than less. There should be no light/space visible under the arm when it is laying on the blanket. Do not set up the blanket(s) under the shoulder, they should start at mid-upper arm.

Set up same as #5 except instead of lengthening, you want to make an impression of your whole arm on the surface.

Hold 3 seconds, Release, Relax and Repeat before returning arm to side of body. Do with other arm on blanket/pillow. Can continue with multiple repetitions if desired.

Don’t rush to do both arms together until you feel comfortable with individual work.

Pranayama:
Quick Stress Relief Breathing Technique
Standing or sitting, take one hand and place it open and under the opposite arm pit, with the other hand on the opposite shoulder. Breath slowly and feel the torso expand with the inhale, try to extend the exhales a little longer than the inhales. Switch hands and repeat with the other side. Anywhere from 4+ breaths would be positive but more are perfectly okay! Enjoy a more relaxed state of mind and a little more awareness of our own bodies.

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed
Essential Oil: doTerra “Wild Orange” 15ml pure $12.+tax.
Music:  Deuter “Space Endless Horizons”
Quote:
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. O.W.Holmes

 

Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Spring Session 2019– #1

General Class Sequencing:
Attunement:
Restorative with the Breath: Legs on the chair(or up the wall) with blanket across and lengthwise. Arms in cactus.
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: -revised please read
Inhale for Cow with added pointing toes and Exhale for Cat with curled toes -pressing down on each and feeling the work being done in the legs. Don’t be surprised if the toes/feet cramp in the beginning this will eventually go away. With the added foot movement the actual asana of cat n’ cow will move much slower which will emphasize and challenge the breath, creating more awareness.

Balancing Cat: -revised please read
Inhale: reach with R leg back -flexing foot and L arm forward -reaching with wide fingers
Exhale: bring R leg bent/knee towards chest and L arm back bringing elbow to L hip -keeping hand engaged and facing midline
continue 3x on each side and do 2 sets ending with Child’s Pose resting the wrists
Continue with Balancing Cat for 6 breaths in the ‘still point’ with nothing moving/hold.
After the 6 breaths you can reach back for the ankle if you would like or not.
Repeat on the other side

Prone:
Mini Vinyasa (Yoga Snack) no prep necessary, just a short sequence which consists of 2 or
more asana, concentrating the movement in tune with the breath.
ex: Child’s Pose, Puppy (exhale) to Up-dog (Inhale) return and repeat x6 or more.
Can add: Plank, Down-Dog or Plank to make a longer vinyasa but add slowly as the body warms
up and your time allows.

Alternative: Keeping knees down on the mat during Up-Dog, Plank and Down-Dog.

Additional ideas under General Short Flow Sequences (DVD Vol.2)

Supine:
Cross Crawl -this is strong core engagement/back on mat, with various leg positions from bent to straight, opposites moving in sync all together.

Prone:
Cobra to Up-Dog  -lifting head/shoulders/upper chest, up as far as possible without allowing the shoulders to lift or the elbows to spread out. Be mindful the belly is engaged to protect the lower back, this is a backbend.

Standing:     
Forward Fold + 1/2Up x20
Warrior I + II

Yogi Push-Ups at the Wall & Wall Squats -with answers to How? Where? Why?

Partner – checking out which muscles are used when we lift our arms up….ask your partner permission to put your hands on their shoulders girdle area and feel which muscles are engaging when they lift their arms overhead in each of the following ways:

1. Correct version would be with attention towards grounding down (as if a magnet were pulling your torso muscles downward) as you lift your arms to forgiving limbs. Notice the side placement also of your arms, how much can you see? Are they to far forward or more in line with your ears!
2. Incorrect version for learning: when lifting arms also lift your shoulders. Notice the tension in the neck and upper shoulder girdle, this is what happens when we are not strong enough to use the correct muscles to come from cobra to up-dog. Other and more stronger muscles come into play to compensate in order to accomplish the task.

We will work this session on making that switch and using more secondary and weaker muscles which we are not using now. This situation is more prevalent in women as men have a tendency to have stronger muscles.

If the flow from Cobra to Updog is not an issue for you, which is probably addressing very few, we will challenge you in the coming weeks with further work on the mat.

Anyone at any time, not feeling challenged, please let me know. I am sure I can come up with something special for you to do.

1. 1 minute of Push-Ups at the Wall
2. 1 minute of Squats at the Wall (if your head does not touch the wall without the chin reaching up than during this minute do ‘turtle’ (chin poking forward and coming in -creating double chins). I would like to do turtle individually with each student so their chin is in the correct position. If you are a candidate for this please get my attention during class so I can observe and correct if needed.
3. Repeat #4 and #5

Supine:
Bridge

Savasana: Supine and Relaxed
Essential Oil: doTerra “Slim & Sassy” -the Metabolic Blend
Music:  Deuter
There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude, the BIG difference is whether it is a positive or negative attitude.
-W.Clement Stone

MISCELLANEOUS:

During the last few weeks I enjoyed reading a couple of very interesting books which I would recommend, they are both books which you will want to give/lend to someone else when you are finished reading.

I thank my girlfriend Rosie for sending me “Choices’ and my students for recommending ‘Educated”.

I have included a link to Amazon because the hardback versions presently are less expensive than the kindle version, your local library should also have a copy. These are two very precious books, not to sit idle on a shelf but to be in someones hands.

1. The Choice: Embrace the Possible: Dr. Edith Eva Eger – Amazon.com

The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story. It’s 1944 and sixteen-year-old ballerina and gymnast Edith Eger is sent to Auschwitz, today she lives in San Diego and celebrated her 90th birthday a few years ago.

2. Educated is even better than you’ve heard | Bill Gates – Gates Notes

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Educated
Dec 3, 2018 – I’ve always prided myself on my ability to teach myself things. Whenever I don’t know a lot about something, I’ll read a textbook or watch an …

“Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.

Educated: A Memoir: Tara Westover: 9780399590504: Amazon.com …

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