There is a lot of chatter in the world of chronic illness about trying Yoga. It can help manage symptoms and provide self care strategies for those who have nowhere else to turn. But there are so many different types … Continue reading
What a crazy few months it has been since the new year! It feels like so much is happening and I am trying not to lose myself and work and yoga and find enough time to breathe (deeply). Sadly this … Continue reading
In 2 months I will (hopefully) be a fully certified Yoga Instructor, but until then I will continue attempting to learn human anatomy and slowly getting closer to touching my toes. Despite taking up every weekend for 3 months of my life,I have enjoyed almost every moment of the course so far. Spending hours practicing and learning from some great teachers, has already taught me a lot, not only about yoga, but about my outlook on life. Here are the four things that yoga teacher training has taught me (so far):
1. Be Where You Are
I can remember a time 12 years ago when I was in great shape. A competitive swimmer with thunderously strong thighs. Today, that is no longer the case and I often struggle with lunge and squat poses. I can lament about how weak and out of shape I have become, and compare myself to my previous self, but that won’t do me much good with the body I have now. What I can do is appreciate the strength my body does have and go from there. This is the same with anything in life; it is not helpful to lament about how much we used to be able to do. You need to unlearn whatever your activity levels used to be, and start with where you are now.
2. Don’t Worry About Anyone Else
Yes, the girl next to me can do a headstand and I still can’t stop my arms from shaking uncontrollably as I lower into a chatarunga. This can be…discouraging. However, at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who can do what- we all end up in corpse pose anyways- the great equalizer. Just as it is not helpful to compare yourself now to your younger self, it is not helpful to compare yourself to the people around you. You don’t know what other battles they are fighting.
3. Don’t Always Sit With Pain
Often in yoga or meditation, those suffering from chronic pain are told to sit with their pain. While this is incredibly helpful in some situations, it turns out this is harmful in other situations. If your neck or spine feels pain in a shoulder stand, you need to use a blanket, if your knees, hips, or back are hurting in meditation you need to change your position and use props to help you find a correct posture. The trick is knowing when to sit with pain and when to allow yourself to relieve it. If you do live with pain or fatigue, which situations do you feel stronger from after sitting through your pain or fatigue and which make it feel like you have pushed yourself too far? This is a good place to start.
4. Don’t Take Yoga (or life) Too Seriously
In ancient Sanskrit, the word Yoga comes from the same route as the word Yoke, as in- to yoke an animal (tying two oxen together to pull a cart). We now define yoga as a union (of animals?) and attach a lot of seriousness to the practice. Many of my classmates felt intimidated to embark on the journey of becoming a yoga teacher, yet when feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, we are often told-“Don’t worry too much about it- it’s only Yoga, what’s the worst that could happen?”. That is often true of projects at work, work in general, fights over stupid things with your partner, etc. If you’ve been frustrated about something you’ve been trying to accomplish lately, allow yourself to have a little laugh about it and move on.
I admit, I could have called it ankle to knee pose, but I hoped Dead Pigeon would bring a smile to your face as you were trying out the pose. I love hip openers because my hips tend to get … Continue reading
Returning to my (newly) arctic homeland in southern Canada for the holidays put me off the online grid for a few weeks, but I have now returned to a (relatively) warm London to continue entertaining (and hopefully sometimes helping) you … Continue reading
I’ve posted before about some of my favourite yoga poses, and after getting especially deep into my practice over the holidays I’d like to share more!
Child’s pose, or Warrior’s pose, is one of my favourite, most relaxing, and stimulating poses.
There are several variations on the pose, but my favourite is to put your feet together behind your buttocks in a seated position, spread your knees apart from each other, and lean forward keeping your arms engaged. This stretches your hips, quads, back and neck, and allows energy to flow throughout your body.
If you are feeling exhausted or sore through the holiday season, I would recommend this pose!
*pictures to come soon
Have you practices this pose before? What is another favourite of yours?
View from the Amritapuri Ashram in India, birthplace of the “hugging saint”. Wonderful place for Yoga and Mediation (with views like this, it’s hard not to!)
The first sign of illness, as well as the dwindling after effects are, for me, always a runny nose. I’ve inherited this from my father who walks around with a constant supply of tissues and tips on nose blowing efficiency. … Continue reading
After an uplifting yoga session this morning, I decided to write another yoga related post on one of my favourite poses: cat pose. The movements in this pose are subtle, but it’s great for waking up your spine- particularly for … Continue reading
I only bought it because I was desperate. “Power Yoga for Happiness” was only $14.99, and I had just wasted almost $300 on a cleanse that did absolutely nothing except leave trails of strange protein mixes all over my kitchen. … Continue reading