Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rock-Star Yoga with Adam Levine

"Yoga grounds you and really roots you to the earth." - Adam Levine 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alexi Murdoch's Breathe and It's Only Fear

I would like to share these two songs by Alexi Murdoch as I associate them with our yoga practice. 

The song, Breathe reminds us not to forget to breathe.  There are times in our yoga practice when we are so challenged by a pose, there is a natural inclination to stop breathing in the face of the strain to maintain the pose.   But breathing helps to keep our body relaxed and the mind calm and we find ourselves going deeper into the pose instead of collapsing when we hold our breath.  

Don't forget to breathe. You know you are here. But you find you want to leave. So don't forget to... breathe

It's Only Fear is the mantra I would say to myself when I hold back from going deeper into the poses . We tend to stay at our comfort zone, not going deeper for fear of injuring ourselves.   We also have the fear of falling when we go up into inversions.   But once, we get past the feeling of fear of whatever that stop us from going further, we opened up to many new possibilities.   We find ourselves willing to take on more challenges, push past our limits and explore new things. 

It’s only fear that keeps you locked in here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pose of the Day - Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II

At yesterday's Flow2 class at My Yoga Sanctuary, I finally managed to lift off on my left side for the first time in Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II for a couple of breaths.   I have always managed to lift off on my right side and hold for five breaths  but some how, lifting off on the left side has always been a problem.

After class, I found out that two of my fellow practitioners also managed to lift off in the pose and it seems it was our Pose of the Day.

Below is a good description on how to do the pose taken from Acro Core website.

To begin, come into downward dog. Bring the left foot to the outside of the left arm. Drop the left arm underneath the left thigh, trying to get the arm as far underneath the leg as possible. Bend the elbows and begin to lean forward. Squeeze the left thigh into the torso and then bend the left leg to lift the foot off the floor. At this point, the left thigh should be resting on the upper arm.

Extend the spine as much as you can here. Engage the right leg, extending it back strongly and lifting the back of the knee up to the ceiling. The more you can keep a straight line through the hips the better. Keep the chest lifted and the shoulders level. Imagine that you are reaching forward with the sternum. Distribute your weight evenly between both hands and extend forward, trying to find the balance point where the back leg just lifts off the floor.

Once the back leg is lifted, press back through the ball of the right foot, then squeeze the left leg into the torso again and straighten the left leg. As the leg straightens, try and keep the hips level and extend out from your center. Keep the gaze forward and the breath steady and even.

You can hold as long as you like. To come back, swing the left leg back, pressing through the hands as you jump back to plank. Some people find it easier to bend the left leg first and then try jumping (or floating) back. Flow to downward dog, then repeat on the second side.

"The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

66 days of Self-Care for Inner & Outer Well-being

In April 2007, I took up yoga as my body needed some workout and that started a beautiful journey where along the way I found some enlightenment of my inner self while my body amazed me with how it was able to cope with the yoga poses which were so difficult to do in the beginning.

The 66-day Self-Care program which starts from today is my way of thanking my body and I hope that it will be an awesome journey of new discoveries.

This is my manifesto for the 66 days which I will try my best to adhere to.

Be kind to myself. Do not self-criticize and always remain optimistic.

Grow from every mistakes made and never regret the past.

Meditate at least 5 to 10 minutes each day.

Have at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep daily.

Enjoy my breath and take my time to come into the yoga poses.

Get up and stretch every hour after sitting in front of the computer.

Respect others' space and their unique individuality.

Keep a journal of any observations that I have come across during this 66 days.

I will not be following everything in the C.A. Kobu Self-Care program workbook as I will be incorporating things that I have been doing in my routine such as my yoga practice. The one thing from the workbook that I would be following closely would be the Writing Exercises as I believe it will help to raise my awareness about my body and emotions and the way I perceive my relationship with other people.