ANDREA - a full time Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor.

I fell in love with yoga over seven years ago, when I got a Nintendo DS and bought a game called Let's Yoga. From then, I began 'playing' yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day. At first, the practice was more physical for me, but after few months I started to really count on yoga to bring me a sense of calm during especially chaotic days. Soon after, I began recognizing the benefits of a regular asana and meditation practice and continued to incorporate yoga daily - not just during times of chaos. I found myself feeling more energized, more compassionate, happier, and with more awareness. Now, I teach full-time and couldn't be happier to do what I love. What began as a physical practice for strength and flexibility quickly became a lifestyle. I teach my students to take their yoga off the mat and apply the principles learned in the class to their lives outside of the studio. I do not only teach my philosophy, I live it.

pondelok 28. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 28 Balance Poses

Well - today is the last day of Balance Poses, enjoy my most favourite one :) 
Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
Say hello to leg and ankle strength as you seek stability and extend into this balancing pose, Half Moon Pose.
I know it is a full moon today, a kind of special day - let's just say the moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, “ha” and “tha”, which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.

How to get into it:

  • Perform Utthita Trikonasana to the right side, with your left hand resting on the left hip. Inhale, bend your right knee, and slide your left foot about 6 to 12 inches forward along the floor. At the same time, reach your right hand forward, beyond the little-toe side of the right foot, at least 12 inches.
  • Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firmly into the floor, and straighten your right leg, simultaneously lifting the left leg parallel (or a little above parallel) to the floor. Extend actively through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong. Be careful not to lock (and so hyperextend) the standing knee: make sure the kneecap is aligned straight forward and isn’t turned inward.
  • Rotate your upper torso to the left, but keep the left hip moving slightly forward. Most beginners should keep the left hand on the left hip and the head in a neutral position, gazing forward.
  • Bear the body’s weight mostly on the standing leg. Press the lower hand lightly to the floor, using it to intelligently regulate your balance. Lift the inner ankle of the standing foot strongly upward, as if drawing energy from the floor into the standing groin. Press the sacrum and scapulas firmly against the back torso, and lengthen the coccyx toward the raised heel.
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then lower the raised leg to the floor with an exhalation, and return to Trikonasana. Then perform the pose to the left for the same length of time.


nedeľa 27. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 27 Balance Poses

I am not sure if someone noticed, but yesterday I didn't go on computer, so we had a day off / but here is today's posture:
Wild Thing (Camatkarasana)
One poetic translation of Camatkarasana means “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.”

We did it in the classes past few weeks, be creative, you can do variations, too, I want to see many pics!!

piatok 25. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 25 Balance Poses

Thank you for yesterday's postures - today we are going to strengthen our arms with: 
Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
A powerful arm and wrist strengthener, Side Plank takes its two-armed sibling to the next level, as an arm balance.

Vasistha = literally means “most excellent, best, richest.” Vasistha is the name of several well-known sages in the yoga tradition. There’s a Vasistha numbered among the seven (sometimes 10 or 12) seers (rishis) or lords of creation (prajapatis), and a Vasistha who’s author of a number of Vedic hymns. He’s also said to be the owner of the fabulous “cow of plenty,” Nandini (“delight”), which grants his every wish and accounts for his infinite wealth.

How to get into it:

  • Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana. Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, and stack your right foot on top of the left. Now swing your right hand onto your right hip, turn your torso to the right as you do, and support the weight of your body on the outer left foot and left hand.
  • Make sure that the supporting hand isn’t directly below its shoulder; position the hand slightly in front of its shoulder, so the supporting arm is angled a bit relative to the floor. Straighten the arm by firming the triceps muscle, and press the base of the index finger firmly against the floor.
  • Firm the scapulas and sacrum against the back torso. Strengthen the thighs, and press through the heels toward the floor. Align your entire body into one long diagonal line from the heels to the crown.
  • If you’d like you can stretch the top arm toward the ceiling, parallel to the line of the shoulders. Keep the head in a neutral position, or turn it to gaze up at the top hand.
  • Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Come back to Adho Mukha Svanasana, take a few breaths, and repeat to the right side for the same length of time. Then return to Adho Mukha Svanasana for a few more breaths, and finally release into Balasana.

štvrtok 24. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 24 Balance Poses

Wow - I was impressed by those who tried and posted their poses yesterday- remember - it is about the journey, too, don't get upset if you can't do some poses!!
Today's posture is a bit easier and we practiced it :P
Scale Pose (Tolasana)
You will strengthen your wrists, arms, and abs, hanging in this balance pose.

How to do it:

  • Perform Lotus or Easy Pose. Place the palms on the floor beside the hips.
  • Exhale, push the hands against the floor, contract the abdominal muscles, and lift the legs and buttocks away from the floor.
  • Hold suspended for 10 to 15 seconds. Then lower your legs and buttocks on an exhalation, change the cross of the legs, and repeat for the same length of time.

streda 23. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 23 Balance Poses

OK, thank you for beautiful Tree Poses yesterday, some naughty, some on holiday, but here is today's challenge:
Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
Fire up your abs for this difficult asymmetrical arm balance - it is not as difficult as you might think - try it and post the pics!!! :)

How to get tangled into this posture:

  • Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with your feet separated a bit wider than usual. Exhale, bend forward to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), press your hands to the floor outside your feet. Then with your knees slightly bent, slip your right arm to the inside and then behind your right leg, and finally press the hand on the floor just outside your right foot. Work your right arm across the back of the right knee, until the knee is high up on the back of your right shoulder.
  • Brace your shoulder against the knee and slide your left foot to the right. Cross the left ankle in front of the right and hook the ankles. Lean slightly to the left, taking more weight on your left arm, and begin to lift your feet a few inches off the floor.
  • With the right leg supported on the shoulder, exhale and bend your elbows. Lean your torso forward and lower it toward parallel to the floor; at the same time, straighten your knees and extend your legs out to the right, parallel to the floor (and perpendicular to your torso). Squeeze your upper right arm between your thighs. Use that pressure to help twist your torso to the left. Keep your elbows in close to the torso. Look at the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Then straighten your arms slowly, lift your torso back to upright, bend your knees, unhook your ankles, and return your feet to the floor. Stand back and rest in Uttanasana for a few breaths. Then repeat the pose for the same length of time to the left.


utorok 22. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 22 Balance Poses

Oh yeah, we are already started the 4th week/theme in our Challenge - Balancing Poses - the first one is a nice one, enjoy it and don't forget to take a picture and post it to me!!! 
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
  • Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
  • Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
  • Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

September Challenge WINNER week 3 - Hip Openers

Woo hoo! This week I got so many pictures from many of you, I am so happy about it!! Thank you and the WINNER of out Hip Opener week is: Natalie :) She felt poorly last week so didnt get a chance to do the challenge poses, but she rocked it this week - well done with all the beautiful poses with a big smile, well done! Congratulations!!! You just won a really useful yoga book - enjoy it!! x x x

Thank you all for beautiful pictures!!!!!! :) and the new week and theme is just about to begin... mmm... :P







 
 


 

pondelok 21. septembra 2015

My recovery covers

Thank you all for understanding for my absence in the classes - I am really sad I cannot teach at the moment, but I will be back soon

Here are some news about today, tomorrow and Thursday :)

today Monday 21st Sept 2015
11.30am Fitness Yoga Hitchin - Lucy
12.30pm Tai Chi - cancelled
6pm Pilates Tiddenfoot - Holly
8pm Power Yoga Dunstable LC - Michelle

tomorrow Tuesday 22nd Sept 2015
11.15am Pilates V360 - there will be someone to cover the class
12.15pm LBT V360 - there will be someone to cover the class
6.15pm Yoga TruGym - check at the reception
7.30pm Pilates DLL - Toke with Yoga

Thursday 23rd Sept 2015
7pm Yoga DLL- Toke
8.15pm Pure Gym - MY TRIAL CLASS - if I can teach and survive this one, great, if not, I'll have to find covers for Friday evening classes

Friday 24th 2015
9.30am Yoga DLL - I will be there
---all the other classes - I'll see how I'll feel




September Challenge # Day 21 Hip Openers

And it is our last day of Hip Openers - I am sure you will enjoy this nice pose:
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) 
Dont forget to post your pictures on out FB group - I will announce the next winner tomorrow :)

How do you get into it:
From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), step your right foot between your hands and bring your 
left knee to the floor. Reach your arms overhead, and keep your hips parallel to the front end of your mat. Isometrically 
draw your left thigh forward and hug both thighs in toward your pelvis. Lift the pit of your belly toward your heart and your heart toward the sky. Let your shoulders slide down your back and keep the front of your throat relaxed as you lengthen your spine. Stay for 5 breaths. Return to Down Dog, and then do Low Lunge with your left foot forward.

nedeľa 20. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 20 Hip Openers

Good morning everyone! It is Sunday today and I whought we should have a really nice posture for today :) What do you think about 
Flowering Lotus (Vikasitakamalasana)

If you want to try it, here is how you do it:
Sit firmly on the ground and spread your legs wide. Bend your knees and brace the outsides of both feet against the floor. Hold on to the ankles or shins. Take your awareness to the lowest part of your spine, and with an inhalation extend up. Fix your gaze on a steady point on the horizon and stay for 5 to 10 breaths.

The hip-opening and twisting poses activate the second and third chakras, respectively, helping to free energy in those areas, and move it up the spine so that you can give back to others in creative ways. At the peak of your practice sequence you can embody a luminous lotus flower emerging from muddy water. In yogic lore, the lotus is a metaphor for how past experiences can be used as fertile soil for blooming into a more awakened soul. You can embody that awakened state of spiritual activation and really send compassion into the world.

Enjoy it!

Hmmm.. I need few days off..

Good morning my lovely yoga people... (it's definitely not a good morning for me tho...)

So I guess I will have to tell you something, because it affects my classes for now.

I was in pain since Tuesday. I have waited, thought everything will be fine after few days, but it was worse and worse. So yesterday my boyfriend rang like dozen clinics, even managed to book an appointment in the evening - the next date was 10th Oct :O (apologies for not being there in my evening class yesterday :( )
So he took me to London. I was nervous, panicking.. Saw the doctor and she said I have 2 options - both were mini operations - one in hospital and I would sleep during the thing, the second was that she could make it right there there under local anesthesia. I just wanted it to be over and she was so nice, she even said she can do it after her last patient, so it was decided - I went for the second option. I thought she will do it and I will be fine and happy - I didn't realise this will be the most painful thing I've ever been through and the way home was a never ending pain, too. Lucky me I had my private driver :)

So I survived the night :P I can barely walk at the moment and I can't drive for few days - I am trying to find covers for my classes - a big thanks goes to Brendan who could cover my class yesterday and an even bigger thank you for Jane to teach both Pilates and Yoga this morning.
I think the classes in Dunstable in the evening will have to be cancelled unless someone could help me out teaching them, I will ask Lucy to teach my tomorrows Hitchin classes...

I apologize for all these classes, but I guess I really have to rest for few days.

I am so lucky to have such a great boyfriend who helped me through everything, my friends were really big support for me, even when they were out partying :P Thank you all  instructors for stepping in and covering for me, even if its weekend! Thanks for all your support and I will be back soon!! :) :)

sobota 19. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 19 Hip Openers

Good afternoon my dear friends - today we have our favourite pose :)
Happy Baby Pose
This pose gently brings a greater awareness to the hip joints.

How to get into the pose:

  • Lie on your back. With an exhale, bend your knees into your belly.
  • Inhale, grip the outsides of your feet with your hands (if you have difficulty holding the feet directly with your hands, hold onto a belt looped over each sole.) Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits.
  • Position each ankle directly over the knee, so your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex through the heels. Gently push your feet up into your hands (or the belts) as you pull your hands down to create a resistance.

piatok 18. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 18 Hip Openers

Hi my lovely yoga people. I hope you are still enjoying our September Challenge and today we will try a challenging posture - 
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
- it is a deep backbend that puffs the chest, making a yogi resemble a pigeon.

How to do the pose:
  • Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
  • The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor. Exhale and lay your torso down on the inner right thigh for a few breaths. Stretch your arms forward.
  • Then slide your hands back toward the front shin and push your fingertips firmly to the floor. Lift your torso away from the thigh. Lengthen the lower back by pressing your tailbone down and forward; at the same time, and lift your pubis toward the navel. Roll your left hip point toward the right heel, and lengthen the left front groin.
  • If you can maintain the upright position of your pelvis without the support of your hands on the floor, bring your hands to the top rim of your pelvis. Push heavily down. Against this pressure, lift the lower rim of your rib cage. The back ribs should lift a little faster than the front. Without shortening the back of your neck, drop your head back. To lift your chest, push the top of your sternum (at the manubrium) straight up toward the ceiling.
  • Stay in this position for a minute. Then, with your hands back on the floor, carefully slide the left knee forward, then exhale and lift up and back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). Take a few breaths, drop the knees to all-fours on another exhalation, and repeat with the legs reversed for the same length of time.

štvrtok 17. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 17 Hip Openers

Thank you so much for posting more and more pictures :) Here is the pose for today- a quiet challenging one :P
Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)
In Extended Hand-to-big-toe Pose, maintaining solid grounding through the standing foot helps keep you steady.

How to do it:

  • From Tadasana, bring your left knee toward your belly.
  • Reach your left arm inside the thigh, cross it over the front ankle, and hold the outside of your left foot. If your hamstrings are tight, hold a strap looped around the left sole.
  • Firm the front thigh muscles of the standing leg, and press the outer thigh inward.
  • Inhale and extend the left leg forward. Straighten the knee as much as possible. If you’re steady, swing the leg out to the side. Breathe steadily; breathing takes concentration, but it helps you balance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then swing the leg back to center with an inhale, and lower the foot to the floor with an exhale. Repeat on the other side for the same length of time.

streda 16. septembra 2015

DLC NEWS from Oct 2015

Good evening my lovely yoga people in Dunstable!!!


You all know what is happening, but it is not looking too bad at the moment... 

The result is that the class will stay at 8pm, only there will be someone else taking the class - I hope it will be fine with you.

Unfortunately I was told they cannot move the classes around as we tried to achieve, but at least you'll still have yoga... - but I will miss you SO MUCH!!!!!! 

This was my first EVER class I taught. I remember how I was shaking - 25 people in the class, my ribs broken... It was nearly 3 years ago!!! :)  Many of you stayed with me through these years, others left, many new people came a still go to my other classes, too. 

I can teach 2 more Mondays - 21st and 28th Sept 2015 - I  hope I will see as many of you in these 2 classes as possible!!! :D 

Well, I am nearly crying now, so I'll finish this post, have a great evening/night, c u on Sunday or Monday! 

Namaste 

September Challenge # Day 16 Hip Openers

Good evening my dear yogis and yoginis, sorry I am bit late today, but the pose will be a bit easier :P Here it is:
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Don’t let the name fool you. If you’re used to sitting in chairs, Easy Pose or Sukhasana can be quite challenging.

How you do it:

  • Fold a thick blanket or two into a firm support about six inches high. Sit close to one edge of this support and stretch your legs out in front of your torso on the floor in Dandasana (Staff Pose).
  • Cross your shins, widen your knees, and slip each foot beneath the opposite knee as you bend your knees and fold the legs in toward your torso.
  • Relax the feet so their outer edges rest comfortably on the floor and the inner arches settle just below the opposite shin. You’ll know you have the basic leg fold of Sukhasana when you look down and see a triangle, its three sides formed by the two thighs and the crossed shins. Don’t confuse this position with that of other classic seated postures in which the ankles are tucked in close to the sitting bones. In Sukhasana, there should be a comfortable gap between the feet and the pelvis.
  • As always, you should sit with your pelvis in a relatively neutral position. To find neutral, press your hands against the floor and lift your sitting bones slightly off the support. As you hang there for a few breaths, make your thigh bones heavy, then slowly lower your sit bones lightly back to the support. Try to balance your pubic bone and tail bone so they’re equidistant from the floor.
  • Either stack your hands in your lap, palms up, or lay your hands on your knees, palms down. Lengthen your tail bone toward the floor, firm your shoulder blades against your back to you’re your upper torso, but don’t over arch your lower back and poke your lower front ribs forward.
  • You can sit in this position for any length of time, but if you practice this pose regularly, be sure to alternate the cross of the legs. A good rule of thumb: On even-numbered days, cross the right shin in front of the left, and on odd-numbered days, do the opposite. Alternately, you can divide the practice time in half, and spend the first half with your right leg forward, and the second half with the left leg forward.

utorok 15. septembra 2015

Yoga Om Show Oct 2015

The OM Yoga Show is taking place at Alexandra Palace for the first time in 2015!
Come and see a showcase of over 200 exhibitors, providing the best yoga and complementary therapies, plus a fantastic range of yoga accessories, clothing, jewellery, super foods and holidays, and much, much more. 
The show provides the opportunity to take part in free classes with leading teachers, so whether you have been practicing this ancient Indian practice for years, or you are just starting out, there is something for everyone. 
All visitors to the OM Yoga Show are able to visit the Mind Body Soul Experience, being held in a neighbouring hall, for free. So why not drop in, and discover a whole new dimension? 
The OM Yoga Show is taking place at Alexandra Palace from 23rd to 25th October 2015. 
Free transfer from Wood Green tube station will be provided via shuttle bus directly to Alexandra Palace, for visitors travelling by tube. Alexandra Palace has free parking, and for visitors arriving by rail, its own station - Alexandra Palace, three stops from Finsbury Park. 

Here are the links for more info about this year's Om Show in London:




September Challenge # Day 15 Hip Openers

We are in the third week of our September Challenge - the Hip Openers just stared :) We are going to begin with a nice posture
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Can’t see the cow face? Notice that the crossed legs look like the lips. The bent-elbow arms, one up and one down, are the ears.

How to do it:

  • Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top you’ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Sit evenly on the sitting bones.
  • Inhale and stretch your right arm straight out to the right, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly; the thumb will turn first toward the floor, then point toward the wall behind you, with the palm facing the ceiling. This movement will roll your right shoulder slightly up and forward, and round your upper back. With a full exhalation, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist, with the right elbow against the right side of your torso. Roll the shoulder back and down, then work the forearm up your back until it is parallel to your spine. The back of your hand will be between your shoulder blades. See that your right elbow doesn’t slip away from the right side of your torso.
  • Now inhale and stretch your left arm straight forward, pointing toward the opposite wall, parallel to the floor. Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight up toward the ceiling, palm turned back. Lift actively through your left arm, then with an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach down for the right hand. If possible, hook the right and left fingers.
  • Lift the left elbow toward the ceiling and, from the back armpit, descend the right elbow toward the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and lift your chest. Try to keep the left arm right beside the left side of your head.
  • Stay in this pose about 1 minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time. Remember that whichever leg is on top, the same-side arm is lower.


September Challenge WINNER week 2 - Twists




It wasn't at least difficult to choose a winner for this week's twists, I am not sure where the problem occurred, but I only got this lady's pictures - so the ultimate winner is our lovely VICTORIA!!!! Congratulations and thank you for all the pretty pics! She won a yoga design T-shirt with a great Mantra meditation CD - yupiii!!!







pondelok 14. septembra 2015

DLC and Tiddenfoot NEWS!!!!

Good evening, well.. It is evening, I am not so sure about the good part of it :P

It is a bit difficult to write these words, because I really like all of you - you are MY yoga/pilates/tai chi people and I am so proud of each of you!!!

But there was a really big trouble in my timetable - my monday Tiddenfoot class... It was ok at the beginning when I was not teaching so much, but now, as I am always all around the place, it became a bit far to go :(

I was offered a really nice class, only few mins walking distance from me on Monday 8pm, and I was so excited about it, cos I like teaching in this club, plus I can be at home sooner... But this means my Dunstable class has to me changed to another time, maybe a day, but they are not helping me a lot at the moment, I was told the class will be cancelled - which is such a shame, it is always busy busy - plus this was my first ever class I was teaching!!!! So I am in the process of trying to ask Nick to change his bodypump to 8pm, which would work for me, but I have to ask him - fingers crossed!!!! If you know him, I would appreciate your help asking him, too... :P

Tiddenfoot class is a bit different, as it is a bit further.... I will have to give the class over to someone really nice - I found a teacher for you and I am sure she will be even better than me!!! But I will miss all of you :( :( :( I nearly cried today when I was telling you.. :( boo!!! - I will still teach few more classes, till lovely Holly finishes her certificates, so you can still see me and I will be in Dunstable on Sundays, where you can come for combo classes - 4pm Pilates and 5pm Yoga :P after that, Holly will take over Pilates in Tiddenfoot and let's hope she will get even more classes! If you need any help in Tiddenfoot, let me know, you are in really good hands, I just spoke to the manager there and he is a great guy who will make sure you will get what you need! (He will try to get me 2 classes after each other :P so we will see what will happen)

Thank you so much for your support and your attendance in my classes during all these years, it is very sad to leave you... but I am still around!!!

I will update you with a DLC class when I will know more

Night night


September Challenge # Day 14 Twists

And we have our last day of twists - who is going to win this week's challenge? :) We will see very soon :P
Today's pose is a really nice twist -
Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Twists are a great way to decompress and squeeze out the anxiety and frustrations of your day — just like wringing out a sponge. They also stimulate and detoxify the organs of your torso. If you’ve ever felt worn out at the end of a workday or after a weekend of over-indulgence, Reclined Spinal Twist is a great pose to help restore balance.

Reclined Spinal Twist offers many benefits, many of which are listed below:

  • It stretches the back muscles and glutes.
  • It massages the back and hips
  • It helps to hydrate the spinal disks.
  • It lengthens, relaxes, and realigns the spine.
  • It massages the abdominal organs and strengthens the abdominal muscles. As a result, this pose tones the waistline and also helps to remove toxins.
  • This twist also encourages the flow of fresh blood to your digestive organs, increasing the health and function of your entire digestive system.

This pose is particularly beneficial (and feels good!) after practicing backbends.

Instructions:

  • To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can rest your head on a pillow or blanket for extra neck support. Let your arms rest at your sides.
  • On an exhalation, draw both knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them. This is Knee-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana).
  • Extend your left leg along the floor, keeping your right knee drawn to your chest. Extend your right arm out along the floor at shoulder-height with your palm facing down.
  • Shift your hips slightly to the right. Then, place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Exhaling, drop your right knee over the left side of your body. Keep your left hand resting gently on your right knee.
  • Turn your head to the right. Soften your gaze toward your right fingertips. Keep your shoulder blades pressing toward the floor and away from your ears. Allow the force of gravity to drop your knee even closer to the floor. If your right toes can touch the floor, allow your foot to rest.
  • Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. On an inhalation, slowly come back to center, bringing both knees to your chest in Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana).
  • Exhale, and extend your right leg along the floor. Repeat steps 3-6 on the opposite side.
  • When you’re finished with the pose, hug your knees to your chest for a few breaths in Knee-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana). Then, slowly exhale as you extend both legs along the floor.

nedeľa 13. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 13 Twists

Good morning my lovely yogis and yoginis, it is Sunday and I hare a really nice twist for you :) 
Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
Benefit
Strengthens and grounds your legs and hips, brings length and lightness to your spine, expands your chest.

Instructions:

  • Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale to lift your arms overhead, alongside your ears. Exhale to shift your weight into your heels and bend your knees, shifting your hips back and down into Utkatasana. Try to stack your knees over your ankles, rather than over your toes. Pull your thighs back (think of sucking the thigh bones back into their sockets) to anchor the pelvis down, which will eventually allow you to twist deeper.
  • Exhale to bring your hands into Anjali Mudra in front of your heart. Inhale to reach up through the crown of your head. Pull your thighs farther back and down to lengthen your spine. On an exhalation, hook your left elbow outside your right thigh as low as you can get it, and press your palms together. Pull your palms down toward your navel, and push your top hand down a bit more to widen your top collarbone and revolve your chest to a greater degree.
  • Keep your weight in your heels, especially your left heel. Draw your left thighbone back to keep your hips and knees even. Then gently roll your belly, chest, neck, and head even more to the right, twisting deeper.
  • Open your arms wide into a straight line, pressing your left arm against your right thigh, leveraging your twist a bit deeper. Press your left hand down into your mat outside your right foot, and reach your right arm upward.
  • Balance the work of grounding back and down in your legs, anchoring your heels, while you lengthen your spine, twist, and open your chest. Spread your arms even more, like bird wings banking on an updraft. Hold for 5 breaths then exhale and unwind. Switch sides.

Avoid These Mistakes
  • Don’t let your knees move in front of your toes, to protect your knee joints. Keep pressing your shin bones back and weighting your heels, to keep your knees pressure free.
  • Don’t let one knee slide in front of the other. Learn to stabilize your pelvis and lower back with the symmetry, allowing for a deeper and pain-free twist.

sobota 12. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 12 Twists

It is a weekend and here as a bit of challenge for you :) Let's TWIST!!! :)
Side Crane (Crow) Pose (Parsva Bakasana)

How to get into it:

  • Bend your knees to a half-squat, thighs parallel to the floor. If your heels don’t rest comfortably on the floor, support them on a thickly folded blanket. Take your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh as you soften your belly.
  • Exhaling, twist your torso to the right, bringing your left lower ribs across toward your right thigh as far as you can.
  • Slide the back of your left arm down the outside of the right thigh, bringing your outer armpit as close to the outer thigh as you can. Keeping the arm in place, do a slight back bend and draw your right shoulder back to twist your torso more deeply.
  • Exhaling each time, repeat these alternating backbending and twisting movements until you reach your maximum rotation. Then slide your left upper arm several inches toward your right hip and press it firmly against your right thigh; maintaining this pressure, draw the upper arm back toward your right knee without allowing the skin to slide. This will rotate the flesh of the upper arm outward, locking it in place. Once your arm is in position on your thigh, note the point of skin-to-skin contact. Try not to change it throughout the pose.
  • Now squat down fully, buttocks just above your heels. Place your left palm on the floor just outside your right foot. If the hand doesn’t easily reach the floor, tip your torso to the right until you can put your palm down flat. Maintaining contact between your left upper arm and your right outer thigh, lean even more to the right until you can place your right hand on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder width apart and positioned on an imaginary line drawn diagonally away from your right foot angled in the direction of the heel. Set your fingers parallel to each other. Most of your weight will still be on your feet.
  • Concentrate on maintaining the point of contact between your left arm and right thigh as you slowly lift your pelvis and shift it to the right, aiming to bring the middle of your abdomen above and between your hands. This is not the precise balance point, but if you get this close you’ll probably be able to find the perfect position by feel. As you get close, the weight on your hands will increase, while that on your feet will decrease until they lift easily.
  • Now put the finishing touches on the pose. Keep your feet together and press out through their inner edges. Draw your heels toward your buttocks. Exhaling, soften your belly to prepare for the twist, then pull your left hip strongly down and lift both feet up. Your left arm may remain slightly bent, but straighten it as much as you can without allowing your legs to slide down.
  • Straighten your right arm completely. As you lift your right shoulder, twist your spine further. Lift your chest and head, and look forward. Breathe evenly and naturally. Hold the pose for 20 seconds or longer, then lower your feet back to the floor with an exhale. Repeat it on the other side for the same length of time. 

Beginner's Tip
To secure your balance, lower your forehead onto a block or bolster as you lift your feet off the floor.

Benefits
  • Strengthens the arms and wrists
  • Tones the belly and spine
  • Improves sense of balance

piatok 11. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 11 Twists

And it is nearly weekend - today's challenging pose is:
Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
This revolved variation of Utthita Parsvakonasana requires a lot of flexibility to twist so deeply and ground the back heel.

How to do the pose: 

  • Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3½ to 4 feet apart. Rest your hands on your hips. Turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees and turn your left foot in slightly to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
  • Exhale and turn your torso to the right until you’re facing directly out over the right leg; as you do this, lift your left heel off the floor and spin on the ball of the foot until the inner left foot is parallel to the inner right foot. Then exhale again and bend your right knee. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep your left leg active by pressing the thigh up toward the ceiling and extending strongly through the left heel. At the same time, resist the lift of the left thigh by pressing the tailbone toward the pubis.
  • With another exhale turn further to the right and lean the torso down, placing the left hand on the floor inside the right foot. Dig your right thumb into the right hip crease and push the thighbone down toward the floor. Firm the shoulder blades into the back ribs and lean the torso back slightly, away from the inner thigh. Stay in this position for a few breaths.
  • If this position seems challenging enough, stay for the recommended time. If you want to go further, bend your left elbow and bring it to the outside of the right knee. Resist the knee and elbow against each other. If possible, straighten your left elbow and reach the hand toward the floor (if you can’t reach the floor, support your hand on a block). You can keep your right hand on your hip, or stretch it over the back of the right ear with the palm facing down. Then turn your head to look at the right arm. As in all twists lengthen and soften the belly, extend the spine with each inhalation, and increase the twist as you exhale.
  • Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up, exhale to release the twist. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left. Then return to Tadasana.

štvrtok 10. septembra 2015

Dunstable covers this week

Good morning all of my yoga people in Dunstable!

I am covering today's Anne's class - we will build up on what we have learnt last week...

I will be away this weekend, so on Sunday 13th Sept - the class is cancelled!!! Please make sure you will remember and enjoy a little rest on Sunday, because I will be back on Monday! :)

Have a great rest of your week and I will see you soon :)


September Challenge # Day 10 Twists

And it is already the third day of twists- I haven't seen so many pics lately, don't you like them??? Well, here is today's twist, I hope you will all enjoy it!
Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
This twisting variation of Janu Sirsasana takes the classic forward bend to the next level of release.

How to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your torso upright and your legs wide. Bend your left knee and snug the heel into your left groin. Then slightly bend your right knee and slide the heel a few inches toward the right buttock.
  • Exhale, lean to the right, and press the back of your right shoulder against the inside of your right knee. Lay your right forearm on the floor inside your right leg, palm facing up. Lengthen the right side of your torso along the inside of the right thigh. Turn your right palm toward the inside edge of the foot and take hold of it, thumb on the top of the foot, fingers on the sole.
  • Remember, the pose is anchored by the femur bone of the left leg. Press the left femur firmly to the floor, as you inhale and slowly extend your right knee. Keep the back of your shoulder connected to the inner knee as you extend it; you’ll find that your torso is drawn out by the straightening knee. When your knee is straight, twist your torso toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, lean it back slightly, and then, with another inhale, sweep it behind your left ear and take hold of the outside edge of the right foot. Press the elbows away from each other, using them like a crank to help twist the upper torso further. Turn your head to look at the ceiling.
  • Hold for a minute. To come out, first untwist your torso, and without coming to upright, sweep it to the left midway between the legs. Then inhale and lift to an upright position. Remember not to come up directly from the twisted position.. Repeat these steps to the other side for the same length of time.

streda 9. septembra 2015

September Challenge # Day 9 Twists

And it is already the second twist's day - here is the challenging pose:
Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana I)
This gentle twist is a tonic for the spine and the abdominal organs.

How to get into it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Shift over onto your right buttock, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the left. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip, with the left ankle resting in the right arch.
  • Inhale and lift through the top of the sternum to lengthen the front torso. Then exhale and twist your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to keep the lower back long. Soften the belly.
  • Tuck your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just beside your right buttock. Pull your left shoulder back slightly, pressing your shoulder blades firmly against your back even as you continue to twist the chest to the right.
  • You can turn your head in one of two directions: continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at your feet.
  • With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, using the push of the fingers on the floor to help; with every exhalation twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.

September Challenge WINNER week 1 - Forward Folds

And the winner of the first week theme is Raymond!!! Thank you so much for encouraging other people to try the challenge poses and it is so nice to see you after such a long time! Keep doing the poses and spreading our yoga challenge :) Congratulations!!! You are winning a nice blue yoga hoodie, I hope you will like it!