Back poses….on the farm?! – #StretchSundays

Cat and Cow poses – Marjaryasana and Bitilasana

An extremely underestimated series of stretches that is great for anyone with slight back pains. I’ve been in the office before where people have got lower back pains and have had to work still and I’ve made them get on the floor in the middle of the office and do this little sequence.

It’s understated and the combination of the two poses with added breathing helps to calm you at the same time as stretching your body out. Some teachers use this combination as a good warm up for a class, preparing the back for future stretches.

Ciao for now x

Competitive yoga – #StretchSundays

I-will-win

This is one I struggle with a lot – trying not to compare to other people practicing yoga and trying not to be competitive and pushing myself to match what other people do.

I have to constantly go against my own grain with this one. The reason I like going to classes is because I’m aware of what others do around me and I push myself to learn more, I challenge myself to be as good or better than those around me. It does mean I progress my yoga, and everything, quite quickly as it means I try and do better than those around me.

What it does mean is it takes a toll on my body faster than expected and sometimes I can compromise my posture or alignment so I can go as low or as high or as deep a stretch as those around me.

Most recently I have used it to try and adapt my practice to match those around me with good posture or alignment. I use my competitive nature but instead of stretching deeper, reaching higher or folding more, I use it to adjust my back, get my legs straighter. Often that means I’m taking my legs closer or moving back a level so I’m at an easier level but working on perfecting my alignment. It’s a hard balance but it works quite nicely as I can still convince myself it’s competitive without pushing myself beyond my body’s limits.

Each of us has our limitations and our aspects that we’d like to work on. This is just one of mine that I deal with by adapting my existing issue into something that can be used productively and to better myself.

Remember, yoga is not meant to be about being competitive, it’s about bettering yourself and focusing on your own practice in that moment.

Next time you’re in a class, try and focus on yourself, look at how others are working their alignment, ask your teacher to adjust you into the right posture but try not to be the one pulling the deepest stretch or folding the most…unless you naturally are more flexible of course!

Ciao for now x

Lunge it – but keep it low! – #StretchSundays

Low lunge

Low lunge – Anjaneyasana

Another stretch in the category of a hip opener. When you first start there is a good chance you will be pretty high off the floor and feel like your legs will never stretch enough to get as low as you’d like, but bear with it, it does happen.

This is a great pose in itself and a balance can be added to it to turn it into the High Lunge. Both poses are great for your hips again and just remember to try and keep this hips facing forward and not turning out to the side

Ciao for now x

Liiiiiiiiiizard – #StretchSundays

Lizard pose – Utthan Pristhasana

Lizard - knee down Lizard - knee raised

Another pose that I absolutely love. The feeling on your hips and inner thigh is just profoundly satisfying.

Be careful with posture here, a lot of people sacrifice proper alignment by trying to get their forearms down to the floor. I have been guilty of that myself and have had to teach myself about how not to be as competitive when it comes to my yoga. Focusing on you, your posture, your breathing and trying to look inwards while still keeping your eyes open is not something that comes naturally to a lot of us but that is one of the things to try and work towards when doing yoga.

Our eyes are sensory objects and we are used to taking in that information and assessing. If you can, practicing yoga with your eyes closed is an amazing experience but there’s no denying the benefits it can give you with your alignment and your practice.

The best way to start this pose is with both hands flat on the floor and both arms slightly inside your forward leg using your elbow to pop your knee out and get a bigger stretch on your hips. If you can you can then work forward to bending the arms slightly and once your flexibility gets better, actually working down to be positioned on your forearms with your gaze forward.

Then if you really want you can lift your back leg but only if your posture won’t be compromised. I’m still working on mine but I love the feeling on my hips and thighs!

Ciao for now x

1st of the Month! – All change

all-change

Hello all my lovelies

Today is the first day of July and it signals big changes around the world, in the yea and most importantly on this blog.

Speaking to some of you, it seems a lot of you really enjoy these blog posts but we need a bit more consistency and a bit more planning so….here it comes.

From today I’m going to try and post once a day, every day. I’ll be talking about lots of different things but the majority of them will be about your health, happiness and fitness. Not only that but I’ll be categorising my posts and each day will be themed around a certain topic which are listed below.

Feel free to read them all, read only the days that you find relevant and more importantly try them out. I want to help you all think more about being healthier, being more aware and trying to make any changes, small or big to work towards your happiness and health.

Posts will start regularly from tomorrow so keep an eye out. If you want to help me spread the word, likes, follows, shares would all be much appreciated!!

Categories:

#StretchSundays – if you like a good stretch, love yoga, have never done yoga but want to try it out in the comfort of your own home or just learn more, this is the day for you! I’ll be talking through some of my personal favourites, explaining them and even filming a few demonstrations for you to give a go

#MoveMondays – all my dance moves will be released on Mondays. I’ll talk about the benefits of dancing, post some instructional videos and even talk you through a few of them

#TalkToMeTuesdays – I want you to engage, discuss, debate and yes, even disagree. I’ll be putting up my opinions on various topics and asking yours

#WellbeingWednesdays OR #WetWednesdays – mid-week will be split and dedicated to two topics, general well-being and getting fitter and enjoying the water. This will be the day we might talk through meditation one week and the week after talk about how to improve your swim stroke

#ThrowbackThursdays – one of my favourites. I’ve already introduced this into my classes with a throwback tuned introduced on the first Thursday of the month but these posts could be anything. Music, dance, exercise or even old toys! Tying them back into your health

#FeedMeFridays – obviously no week would be complete without some food. These will be my favourite recipes, easy tips on how to stay healthy when out and about or even how to mix up your food prep in ways you might not expect

#SkinliciousSaturdays – completing our week will be our Saturday where we’ll be taking a look at what goes on your body. The main focus of this will be  the amazing Tropic products but also we’ll start sharing some extra knowledge and getting you to ask questions about your current regime

I hope you like the topics and like what’s to come in the near future, I love writing them and sharing my thoughts with you all. If you want to have something specific shown then just drop me a line and I’ll do my best to include it!!

Looking forward to what the future brings and remember, life isn’t about getting to a destination it’s the journey we take to get there.

Ciao for now x