Tuesday, April 19, 2016

When Is The Last Time You Showed Your Torso Love?

When is the last time you paid attention to the sides of your torso?  Was it the last time you had a pain or "stitch" there?  Was it when you may have noticed there was a roll of... uh... extra skin there?  Did you curse this part of your body when it did not please you?  Try to cover it up or use a maneuver to relieve any pain?  Yeah... I've been there!

Now, when was the last time you showed the sides of your torso some LOVE?? The muscles in your torso do so much work for us each day. There are muscles there that move and rotate the torso and help you sit and stand upright. These are huge jobs!  We think of exercising or strengthening them (think twisting ab exercises, such as bicycles), but do you take time to lengthen them?  Stretching the sides of the body feels delicious. When you open the sides of your body, you make space for breath by expanding the muscles that surround the ribs, open the chest and make space for the abdominal organs (helping with digestion).

Sound good?  Great!  Ready to get started? Start simply.  Sit on the floor with your legs a comfortable distance apart.  Flex your feet and hug your leg muscles to the bones.  Press your sitting bones into the earth and gently lengthen your spine, rolling your shoulders back and descending your should blades.  Now reach your arms overhead and slowly bend and lengthen the torso to the right.  Try to make certain that the right side of the torso is softly "reaching" over the right leg.  The idea is not to "crunch" the right side of the body while the left side is stretching.  Reach your left arm along side your left hear and from the shoulder, turn your palm down (so when you look up you can see it).  Extend your fingers in line with your wrist.  To look up, gently turn your ribs, chest, neck and head as one unit to gaze toward your arm.  Breathe at least 10 soft, slow breaths.  Repeat on the other side.

I strongly encourage you to practice side bending regularly.  You will feel taller and more free... and your torso will love you back.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Legs Up The Wall Pose

Want to feel instant chill?  Try this pose!  It is really simple.  Find a wall in your home, lay sideways against the wall so that your bottom is flat on the wall, then swing your legs up the wall until you are lying flat on your back.  Does that sound too difficult?  No problem, just get your legs up that wall any way you can!

Legs up the wall pose (aka, Viparita Karani) promotes instant relaxation.  It calms the nervous system, is said to relieve headaches, reduces swelling in the feet and legs, feels great during menstruation (i.e. cramp relief) and feels amazing on your lower back.

There are some contraindications for this pose however.  Avoid if you have glaucoma, high blood pressure or if you have a hernia.

The beauty is... you don't have to practice yoga for an hour or more to get the bennies! You can feel amazing in just 5 - 10 minutes per day by just practicing a pose or two. Legs up the wall pose can help you feel awesome... NOW.  So go ahead.  Find a wall that looks inviting, swing your legs up and chill.  Okay... okay.. set your timer - just 5 to 10 is all you need.

Try it and see for yourself! I bet you will be so glad you did!

Remember... you don't have to practice yoga for an hour every day to feel amazing.  You don't have to only feel the bennies when you attend class.  You can practice at home for just minutes a day, on a consistent basis to reap the rewards of this blessing called yoga.

To learn more about how to practice at home, please follow this blog.

Peace and blessings to you and your's