Yoga pose: Child’s Pose

Earlier this week I wrote about dealing with grief and yoga.

One of the poses (Child’s Pose) is part of the mini practice I found and shared on Monday as well.

A few of my co-workers and I did a mini yoga practice yesterday. My friend Maria lead a short little meditative relaxing practice. And I lead the group through breathing; kneeling; Child’s Pose; Cow Pose; Downward Facing Dog; Cow Pose; Child Pose; back to kneeling.

There are so many amazing benefits with Child’s Pose as with all yoga poses.

The Yoga Journal website lists the benefits of this pose.

The anatomical focus according to the site is thighs. But I think it is also a gentle hip opener.

Therapeutic application: stress; overall benefits: Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles and calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue and relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.

This is a great beginner’s tip: We usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the … Continue reading

Dealing with grief

We don’t get over our grief, we change our relationship to it.- Lyn Prashant

Life is suffering, the Buddha says, and even if you’re not given to abstractions it’s easy to see that life can be hard. The added strain of a major loss can make your world unremittingly bleak.

Over the weekend my friend/co-worker/leader Perry died.

Perry had a very short battle with an aggressive cancer. His passing is a huge loss to my team, my company, his family and friends, and frankly, the world.

Perry had a huge and amazing presence. He stuck up for his team always. He was smart and caring.

I look to my friends/co-workers for support and love. But I also look to yoga to help me in this grief.

I agree with what this Yoga Journal article, which says, It’s in precisely these situations that the wisdom of the yoga tradition can be enormously helpful. Asana, breathwork, meditation—and, especially, the perspective on loss and death taught by the ancient yogis and sages of the East—can not only mitigate pain and expedite the grief process but also transform your experience of life after loss.

I did research to find specific … Continue reading

What is Restorative Yoga?

This is what my friend Pam asked Monica and me yesterday before spin class as Monica and I were discussing the The Gift of Restorative Yoga workshop we attended today with Vickie.

According to Namaste’s workshop link, Restorative Yoga uses props to support the body, allowing for expansiveness and ease while stimulating the body’s innate healing abilities. This workshop will enable us to explore the benefits of bringing awareness and balance to the body- mind.

This is a direct description from Namaste’s class description of Restorative Yoga: Gentle yoga and passive restorative postures to open the body, quiet the mind and move into a deep sense of relaxation. A meditative time to cultivate awareness of body breath and mind, this class is recommended for those experiencing stress, recovering from injury or illness, and anyone seeking a gentle class to unwind, relax and renew.

I try to practice Restorative Yoga as often as my schedule allows. It is relaxing and makes me really try to calm my mind and bring down my stress.

Today Vickie talked about our vata, which according to Yoga Journal website, it governs all movement in the body and mind. (The Sanskrit translation of the word is “that … Continue reading

Giving my adrenal fatigue some ‘dessert’

I believe I am suffering from adrenal fatigue.

AdrenalFatigue.org says: Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. … You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings.

We hear about celebrities going into rehab for exhaustion. Maybe that is a cover for substance abuse and maybe it is really for exhaustion.

At one point today I felt the tiredness and exhaustion overwhelm me.

The best solution I have found for adrenal fatigue is Restorative Yoga. I enjoy going to a full hour and a half class or when my yoga instructors, especially Vickie, adds a restorative yoga pose or two at the end of class.

I recently attended Vickie’s Restorative Yoga and Adrenal Fatigue workshop. It was an amazing discovery of feelings and emotions and a great way to “recharge.” And I am looking forward to the next workshop in December.

At my most intense point of exhaustion today I couldn’t fathom going to Hatha Yoga tonight. … Continue reading

Sweating with the yogis

I realize my blogging has been minimal lately. I am either too lazy to blog or too busy. One extreme or the other. No fear–I will get back into my flow, soon, I hope.

Because tomorrow is a holiday, today it was a half day at work. So I worked from home.

Because of my early day I was able to attend Sean‘s 4:30 Vinyasa class. I rarely get to take his class because I just can’t be there on time.

His class is always challenging, always sweaty and always pushes me. But at the same time he encourages his class to listen to their body and take a break when needed.

Sean’s class today was probably the sweatiest I have ever gotten in a yoga class. And I have taken many sweaty yoga classes.

I was sweating so much that it was getting in my eyes and up my nose. I told Sean I had trouble breathing because the sweat was going right up my nose. His response, I take that as a compliment.

He did mention to us at the end of class that he wished he could give us the 10-15 minute savasana we earned … Continue reading

I’m not interested in hurting myself

Today during my Vinyasa yoga class I thought about what Vickie, one of my yoga teachers, says to the class when she puts us into a challenging pose … I’m not interested in you hurting yourself or I am not interested in you hurting your insert body part here.

I have kyphosis. One time in a yoga class the teacher told everyone that old people have kyphosis, which can be true. But I have it, too. I have a slight curvature of the upper spine, which can give me lower back pain. I have weak back muscles and a weak core. A strong core makes for strong back muscles. I continue to strive and work on both.

In class tonight we focused a lot of work on our lower backs. Eventually I really started to feel it in my back. So I took a step back and focused  on not hurting myself and taking care of me.

I gave my back and body and mind extra time in Child’s pose tonight. And Lily, the yoga teacher tonight, came over and helped me get deeper into the pose. She has an amazing touch and is training to be a massage … Continue reading

My yoga practice

I write a lot about my yoga practice.

Sometimes my practice is about exercise.

Sometimes it is about connecting deeper with myself.

Sometimes it is about breathing.

Sometimes it is about endurance.

Sometimes it is about remaining calm.

Sometimes it is about getting stronger, physically.

Sometimes it is about taking care of me.

Sometimes it is a combo of these or all of them.

Yesterday in Aviva’s class she talked about focusing on the head, neck and shoulders.

She read us an excerpt, which she will send to me later. Part of it read like this:

Yoga is … wisdom of the mind, will of the heart and skill of the body.

I really like that. And I have really been reflecting on it since she read it yesterday.

 

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Working sore butt muscles, cramps

Yesterday in body conditioning we did a lot of squat and lunge work. I hate doing that stuff. But it is also the work I need most. We did walking lunges and squats with kickback.

I don’t know if it was the combo of the two or the evil squats with kickback but my booty was feeling slightly sore last night. Oh man, today, ouchie!

I went to yoga this morning and luckily we did some great stretches for the butt (and other body parts as well). We did a lot of high lunge work (picture to the left).

We also did a great high lunge twist–which actually felt great for the sore butt muscles.

Right before class today I was experiencing some intense cramps. I asked Ashley if there were any poses I should avoid. She told me most poses were OK and the more I moved the best it would be for my cramps. She told me if any inversions made me feel dizzy to come down.

I made sure to definitely move today but to also listen to my body and rest when needed. I practiced Child’s pose more than I normally do in … Continue reading

Sometimes partner yoga is a good thing

I attended my kinda sorta regular Vinyasa flow class tonight. Since getting sick and with the holidays I haven’t been to that class in probably almost a month.

The class is slightly aggressive, which is the type of yoga I normally prefer. For me it is all about burning the calories. Though I do take some less intense classes to balance out my practice.

This Friday night class is supposed to have live music, which I was excited about. Unfortunately Gary got caught in traffic and didn’t make it to play the Hang, which I have been lucky to hear him play in other classes.

Today Lily had us partner up. I have to say I am not a fan of partnering up with another classmate. I don’t really know anyone and usually we are sweating. And well, I just don’t like it.

The first partner practice was to help your partner into handstand. She gave us an alternative choice if we weren’t inverting for whatever reason: Dolphin. I was uncomfortable working on this pose with a partner for a variety or reasons. I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone falling over or hurting themselves. And … Continue reading

Hurrying to relax at yoga class

I literally ran to the yoga studio tonight to make it on time to Baxter’s Hatha class.

Traffic from South City to Emeryville was pretty tame, especially since there is a 49ers game tonight. But from Emeryville a drive in the evenings that normally takes me 15-20 minutes took 40 minutes tonight.

I quickly changed into my yoga clothes once I got home and headed out to Namaste. I ran part of the way and when I arrived I was pretty much out of breath and quite warm.

But I made it on time. And I have to say I am glad I did. I always enjoy Baxter’s classes. I was hoping for more of a Christmas-themed class. There were some Grinch and Christmas Rack references. Eh, good enough.

That class is never too intense. But tonight was even more mellow and we did a lot of work with the bolster. Oh yea, so nice! I love working with the bolster.

It was so worth running and hurrying to class to relax …

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