Find your rhythm.Read More
- Seated meditation. Notice where in your body you may feel your emotions.
- Cat/cow to warm up
- Pigeon pose (1-5 minutes on each side)
- Low lunge or lizard on each side (breathe into the hips)
- Warrior II
- Seated wide legged forward fold (Upavistha Konasana)
- Legs up the wall (deep rest)
- Optional journaling :)
Also check out my review of the wheel for more info.
- The toes stabilize during any balancing pose, like Tree. By spreading the toes, you draw more grounded energy up from the earth beneath you. You activate more muscles in your feet, and stabilize the arch more.
- In the transition from Plank to Chaturanga, rolling over the toes with a unilateral movement helps you maintain correct alignment of the hips and creates the smoothest possible transition in the vinyasa sequence. If you're in the habit of flipping over one foot at a time, check in with your teacher for help re-learning this transition and talking about why the feet should move in unison.
- For balancing poses like Crow and Eight-Limbed pose, activating the feet and toes actually helps draw energy into the core, helping to increase the sense of lift and lightness as you 'fly.' The same goes for headstand and handstand; by activating and flaring the toes, you are creating a longer line of energy from the ground all the way into the part of your body that's extended farthest.
- In Prasarita Padottanasana, engagement of the two big toes helps align the pelvis correctly. Engaging the big toe flexors has the added benefit of strengthening the longitudinal arch of the foot, too; in addition to being toe flexors, these muscles are also dynamic stabilizers of the arch. (You can read more about this on The Daily Bandha).
- why toes matter, from Yoga Journal; includes information about how healthy feet and toes help prevent inflammatory conditions like bunions and tendinitis
- Ever tried Toe Squat? This is a wonderful (and sometimes intense) pose for increasing flexibility in the toes and feet.
- 5 poses to build balance and stability in Toestand
Beneath the fear and hesitation and uncertainty lies your inner knowing.
As the sweat poured out of me and I did my best to focus on nothing more than my breath, my mind became clear. I embraced the moments that followed and left the studio with a sense of joy.
Instead, I became more focused on rooting myself to my mat and getting lost in the cadence of my breath.
It was a revelation of sorts, one that made me feel like I had the potential to control that funny thing we call life. While some yoga teachers talk and write about yoga’s ability to provide you with the skill set to maintain control of the self, it isn’t something you can wrap your head around until you experience it on your own.
It's hard to believe my yoga journey started over four and a half years ago, and pretty soon I'll be leading class. Getting certified to teach has been a long time coming: as you may remember, I originally thought I wanted to go the Bikram route and I also had plans to attend a training with Sri Dharma Mittra in NYC earlier this year.
I feel so blessed that the timing has finally worked out and that I am in the right mindset and space to dive in for this vinyasa training.
My heart feels so grateful and full every time I think about standing in front of a room of yogis and leading class.
Thanks for sharing in the journey with me, readers! You guys are the best.
If you're so inspired, I'd love if you could:
- send me some love and light this week as I begin to train
- reach out if you're a teacher, fellow teacher-in-training, or studio owner with ideas on how to get the most out of training and how to transition into teaching
- donate to my yoga teacher training fund
Wishing you love and light.
- Witnessing strength and perseverance. There were a few times when my sister looked over at me like I was crazy when I asked her to move into a posture, or to hold for a few more seconds. We were doing reps of downdog extensions into plank with the knee at the elbow (like in Sadie Nardini's supersets), and I glanced over to see just how focused and determined she was, arms shaking, powering through the struggle. So inspiring to see her keep going even when the yoga proved challenging.
- Laughing about yoga farts. It's the best when you can just be honest and down-to-earth in yoga. Yes, it is a serious practice, but it can also lead to extremely hilarious, heartfelt and just generally human experiences. (Cough cough *wind removing pose* cough cough!)
- Feeling energized after practicing together. "I feel kind of woozy," my sister said as we were walking out of the park. "Like something crazy just happened." I laughed and explained to her how yoga can clear stagnant energy in the body, and that she was likely experiencing the result of opening her spine. I was also totally stoked to hear that she felt immediate relief from chronic back pain and can't wait to practice again soon. Success!
Fortunately, though, I have the learned the foundational information needed to get in and out of the postures safely on my own, and I am adding them back into my routine.
As long as you take the right steps to learn the right way into and out of the posture, know that you are safe. Trust in what your teacher has shown you, and trust that your body is capable of incredible things. Learn to let go of your resistance to the postures themselves.
You know you are moving in the right direction when you don't feel your heart drop at the mention of the pose in class. Instead of slowly making your way into the pose, you set a positive example for your fellow yogis, and you launch happily into trying. As long as you are trying, you are achieving what the pose is meant to do.