April Pose Of The Month ~ Vrkasana ~ Tree Pose

kids

Just like a tree changes throughout the seasons, so do we, yet staying in perfect balance and harmony.

Do we notice the subtle changes that are taking place each and every day?

Vrkasana ~ Tree Pose

Standing in Tadasana ~ Mountain Pose

Place hands on the hips allowing the right hand to assist in the placement of the right foot.
Shift your weight to your left side. Planting your left foot into the ground keeping the hips as level as possible freeing up your right leg.
Placing the base of your right foot on the ground turning your right knee out as you externally rotate your right hip.
Either keep your foot where it is or place your right foot below or above the left knee. Not on the knee, this will place pressure on the knee joint and may cause injury.
If the right foot is above the knee gently press the foot into the inside of the left leg as the inside of the left leg presses into the foot.
Hand Positions~
Palms touching at the heart
Extended arms overhead
Extended arms outward
Release and switch sides beginning with Tadasana

April Subject Of The Month ~ Balance And Harmony~

 

balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

March Pose of the Month ~ Virabhadrasana I ~ Warrior 1

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Virabhadrasana I

Warrior 1

  • From Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog.
  • Step your right foot to right thumb. This sets you up for proper alignment as the feet are heel to heel or back foot out for a slightly wider base depending on the flexibility of the hips. Adjust accordingly for your body.
  • Spiral left foot flat on the floor at a 45 degree angle.
  • Both feet are firmly grounded into the earth for stabilization and groundedness.
  • Place hands on hips and rise up.
  • Allow the tailbone to drop to stabilize and level the pelvis, back knee made need to soften to do so.
  • Paying attention to the front knee directed towards center line of foot and bending the knee towards a 90 degree angle.
  • Traditionally, the arms reach up and the palms face each other and the shoulders are released.
  • Experiment with arm variations reaching the arms out, forward, behind and perhaps cactus arms (90 degree angle outward).
  • Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Virabhadrasana I is a foundational pose that brings brings strength and confidence to your practice. It connects you into the earth and reminds you of your capacity and courage to keep on going beyond your wildest dreams…

Embrace Vira I

March Subject of the Month ~ Courage

COURAGE

courage lion

In the story of the Wizard of Oz, the Lion seemingly lacked courage only to realize that it was within him the whole time.  Perhaps it was his fears that were stronger than his courage.  He grew strength by challenging himself to go beyond his comfortable place.  When his purpose was no longer about him, he found strength and courage to pursue and do what it takes to save Dorothy.  He trembled and cried the whole up to the tower where Dorothy was being held.  He, with the help of the Scarecrow who supposedly was not smart, or perhaps his fear was stronger than trusting his truth and the the Tinman who supposedly did not have a heart, perhaps a fear of vulnerability went anyway.  They all dug deep beyond their fears to find strength and courage, truth and compassion and to take a leap of faith to do what they needed to do.  As we know how the story ends, where in fact, all that we need already exists within us.  May we recognize our barriers only to find the courage to face our fears, resistances and challenges and trust our innate wisdom and guidance.  COURAGE.

yellow brick road

Namaste

February Pose of the Month ~ Natarajasana ~ Dancing Shiva

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Natarajasana

From Tadasana~

 Both feet placed firmly into the earth. Pada bandha.

 Place right hand on hip firmly planting the right foot into the earth.

 Reach left arm straight up into the sky.

 Bend left knee as thighs are level.

 Extend left arm behind grabbing the inside of the left foot.

 Gently press the foot into the hand and the hand into the foot creating a counter action.

 Extend right arm out and lift as high as comfortable.

Lift from your heart. Be expansive, be open.

A beautiful option is gyan mudra, index finger to thumb.

This mudra, hand seal, envokes change.

Try this pose wholeheartedly.

Namaste

February Subject of the Month ~ Wholeheartedness ~

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Wholeheartedness

“Wholeheartedness living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.

It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.

It’s going to bed thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth and that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

~Brene Brown

January Subject of the Month ~ Mindfulness ~

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What is the greatest gift we can give ourselves?  and others…

“When we are mindful,

deeply in touch with the present moment,

our understanding of what is going on deepens,

and we begin to be filled with

ACCEPTANCE,

JOY,

PEACE,

and LOVE.

Thich Nat Hahn

Namaste.

Here’s to awakening to the present moment in 2016!

Much love from Laura and Elle

FrankJacobsPhoto.com

FrankJacobsPhoto.com

January Pose of the Month ~ Supta Padangusthasana ~ Reclining Big Toe Pose

supta Padangthasana

 Supta Padangusthasana ~ Reclining Big Toe Pose

This is a wonderful stretch for the hamstrings where as you are getting full support of the ground beneath you to feel safe and secure as you deepen your hamstring stretch.

  • Begin lying flat on your mat. Take a moment to embrace the steadiness of the earth holding you, supporting you and enveloping you.
  • Bring your right knee into your chest with the option of grabbing your right big toe with your “peace sign” fingers. Full extention of the leg is the full expression of the pose, but not necessary.  With that in mind, practicing mindfulness and moving in a way that serves your body and mind rather than cause conflict is truly the practice of yoga. So stay present and explore the possibilty of extending your leg with ease and grace.
  • Place your left hand on your upper right thigh to assist in keeping the left hip planted into the ground.
  • Flex your left foot as the left leg is active.
  • With an exhalation, bring your chest towards your shin while keeping your legs straight and strong.  If your option is the knee in, hold on to upper right shin or beneath the right knee and raise your chest towards your thigh.
  • Hold for 5-8 breaths and slowly and mindfully shift sides.
  • Notiticing how you feel and being with the whole experience of Supta Padangusthasana

Enjoy every moment and every breath!

November Subject of the Month ~ Gratitude

Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 

― Melody Beattie

What are you grateful for?

 

 

November Pose of the Month ~ Urdvha Dhanurasana ~ Upward Facing Bow or Wheel Pose

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Urdvha Dhanurasana

  • Lying on your back with your knees bent hip-width apart or slightly wider or even slightly pigeon-toed to release any tension in the low back.
  • Heels in towards your sitting bones perhaps being able to touch you heels with your middle or index finger.
  • Arms close to your side with your palms down either side of your hips. An option is to bend your arms as triceps press to the floor for an initial lift of the hips then release arms down to side.
  • Begin to lift up your back beginning from your hips, one vertabrae at time while gently curling the tailbone under to support the lower back.
  • Flip your hands back either side of your ears where the fingers and toes point the same direction and elbows point back.
  • Inhale deeply, then on the next exhale press your hands into the floor, straighten out the arms as you lift up.
  • Voila!! You are in Urdvha Dhanurasana. Hold for 5 breaths.
  • To come down, gently bring your chin towards your chest and lower down upper back, middle back, lower back and then your hips.
  • Knees can drop from side to side before repeating.
  • Heart, lungs and chest are wide open.

Enjoy Urdvha Dhanurasana

Upward Facing Dog

Namaste