Yoga blog

Divine Dancer

Dancer/Natarajasana is my most-loved Yoga balance for so many reasons. It requires and builds flexibility in the hip, back, shoulder and hamstring, tones the legs and builds concentration and focus. But a lot of people feel unnecessarily intimidated by this pose. In this blog I offer modifications to make this pose more accessible while also working towards getting into a deeper variation of the posture.

Variation 1:

dancer 1

Bring your weight into one leg and lift the other up in front of you bending at the knee. Bring the bend leg back so the knees are in line. Lift the opposite arm to you lifted knee and balance here.

Variation 2:

Dancer 2

From Variation 1, reach back with the hand on the same side of the lifted leg and take hold of the inner sole of the foot.

Variation 3:

Dancer 3

From Variation 2 start to lift the back leg while keeping the hips in line. Allow the body to tilt forward a little, but focus on pushing the back leg into your hand and using this to open the hip and back.

 

Of course there are more advanced versions that this! But I’m still working towards them myself so like everyone else I stay where feels best for my body until I’m ready to deepen the practice further <3 Why not send me your most divine variation of dancer?

Namaste! Hxx

 

 

Yoga blog

6 Post-Run Yoga Poses

Running is great, super for the cardio-vascular system, burns calories and increases bone density! But without proper stretching runners can find they have very tight calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. Why is this a problem? To keep muscles healthy and strong, and to maintain a healthy range of movement in joints it’s important to stretch. Here are my favourite post-run Yoga poses:

 

  1. Seated Forward fold

This is a great hamstring and calf stretch. To come into the pose inhale and raise the arms, then as you exhale bend forward leading with your heart reach down anywhere along the legs that’s comfortable.

Safety: anyone with hip constraints don’t bend too deep, you can just stay seated with a straight back. If your hamstrings are tight you may find it easier to sit on a block or even use a strap around the feet. Any pain in the low back ease out of the pose, only go as far as to get a nice stretch, don’t push into any pain.

  1. Low lunge

Low lunge

This stretches the hip flexors and you can sneak a backbend in too! From Table step one foot forward between the hands and then raise your arms up and overhead. Sink the hips forward if it’s comfortable. Challenge your balance by looking at your thumbs. Then switch to the other side.

Safety – if you have hip constraints don’t sink too deep into this. You can put extra padding under the knee to support it. If you have shoulder issues keep the hands on the hips.

  1. Low Lunge with Quad stretch

Low lunge quad stretch

From your low lunge lift the back foot, reach back for it and draw it in closer to you. If this puts too much strain on the knee come out of the pose or place something soft under the knee for extra support. Do both sides 😊

  1. Pigeon

pigeon

Such a great pose, a hip opener and a glute stretch. This pose is not for everyone, any knee constraints or pain in the knee in this pose do the alternative pictured below. To come into pigeon from Table bring the right knee to the right wrist. Walk the right foot over towards the left hip. Send the left leg straight out and behind you allowing the hips to come down towards the floor. Then you can come down to the forearms or reach your hands away in front. Do both sides 😊

  1. Spinal twist

Modified spinal twistspinal twist

Sit with both legs out in front. Cross you right leg over your left. You can keep the left leg extended and flexed, or tuck it in. Sit across both sit bones. Bring the right hand to the base of the spine. Use it to keep you straight. Lift the left arm high and try to bring the elbow over the right knee, twisting to look back over your shoulder. To intensify you can reach through the bent leg and take a bind here. Stay where feels comfortable.

  1. Savasana

savasana.jpg

You’ve earnt a break after running and doing Yoga! 😊 Any pain in the low back bring the knees up, if not extend the legs let the big toes roll out. Bring your arms down by your sides and turn the palms up. Close off the eyes and meditate for a few minutes.

 

Namaste 😊 Hxx

 

 

Yoga blog

6 Tips to Set Up A Daily Yoga Practice

I practice Yoga everyday, multiple times a day often in classes I attend, classes I teach, and on my own. I love my practice, I never come away feeling low. It may be gentle exercise but I find it energising and I’d love to share some tips for how you can get a daily practice going 😊

  1. Go to Yoga Classes

If you go to the class you can’t stop your practice early and you can gain energy from the other people around you. It’s always helpful to get tips from a teacher. I still go to Yoga classes myself. And if you really want to switch off and get deeper into your practice having someone tell you what to do is lovely, no worries about sequences etc.

 

  1. Invest in Your Own Mat

It doesn’t have to be the most expensive mat in the world. Do some research, read some reviews and choose one that sounds right for you. Don’t go for too thick (stick between 4 and  8mm). If you find it painful kneeling a little bit more cushion might be helpful. You don’t need to buy straps and block straight away, sofa cushions, books, ties and belts can substitute. Don’t worry about not having much space, anywhere you can lay down your mat you can practice, just be careful if you’re doing balancing poses not to knock the TV over!

 

  1. A little Goes a Long Way

Just because you’re practicing Yoga everyday doesn’t mean that every home practice has to been an intense hour and a half. Some days a bit more meditation and a bit less movement can be just what your body needs. And the more you practice, the easier it will be to listen to your body and know what it’s telling you. Even if you just do Sun Salutations in the morning, you’ve done something. But try not to miss Savasana, even if it’s just a minute of relaxation.

 

  1. Don’t Feel Guilty for Looking After Yourself

You’re the most important person in your life. You can’t be the best friend, daughter, mother, father, son etc. to anyone else if you aren’t taken care of first. Make time and take time to introduce your Yoga practice. Do the poses you enjoy and relish the challenge of the ones you don’t love as much yet.

 

  1. Keep a Yoga Journal

I first began recording my practice during my Teacher Training. It transformed my practice and my approach to it. Don’t just write a bland explanation of what you do in your practice, talk about how you feel. Any self-discoveries you make. Record your goals for your practice, then you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing yourself achieve them. It’s easy to forget the struggle of getting into poses when they’re attainable and to always focus on the next challenge, the journal reminds you it’s all a journey.

 

  1. Don’t be too Hard on Yourself if You Miss a Day

We’re human and no matter how hard we try we live in a busy, modern world. Things come up, family get sick, some things can’t wait. So, if you miss one session just get back to it the next day.

 

Please share any tips you have 🙂 And get in touch with any questions <3 Hxx