Open up your chest

Starting with seated twists then into standing poses (just a few), baby back bends then shoulder stand.
This practice should open your chest up, allowing a sense of freedom and room to breathe.
Move with your own sense of well being, not trying too hard, so that your breath remains natural.
Remember you can stop at any time and sit out of any pose you are unsure of.
Enjoy

Shoulder Mobility

Tame the tension in your neck and shoulders with this mobilizing practice.
Sit or stand as I guide you through poses including Garudasana (eagle) and Gomukhasana (cow-face pose).
Taking the shoulder joint through its range of movement with gentle thoughtful practice can improve your range of mobility in and around the neck, shoulders and upper back.
If you have any shoulder injuries or problems please check with your physio or health care provider before following this practice.

Pinca Mayurasana

The Peacock pose, forearm balance, had me foxed for years.
As I started to think about the name of the pose and consider a peacocks trait’s (my arms are explaining the way the peacock opens up it’s tail feathers in the title picture), it got my imagination rolling and I was off.
I believe that it’s not about the perfect pose, it is about the correct approach, physically and mentally.

Precautions and contra-indications;
as with all inversions, please avoid during menstruation or if the pose causes pressure in the head, ears or eyes. If you have; back, shoulder, or neck injury.
A heart condition or high blood pressure.
Migraine or head-ache.

Most importantly as with any yoga practice, listen to your own body, be kind and sensitive to your bodies needs.

Egg-splaining Bakasana

Strengthen your arms, legs and abdomen.
Bakasana (birdpose) was re-named by my boys “baby handstands”.
It’s important to be able to feel the weight through the arms before you head towards lift off.
This practice will encourage you to learn to trust your arms, and connect the tail-bone towards the crown of the head, enabling this pose to take flight.
A posture journey through adho mukha svanasana (dog head down), uttanasana (forward bend) and malasana (garland pose), I hope this practice will bring a new insight into this beautiful little compact pose.

Contra-indications:
Pregnancy
Carpal tunnel syndrome

Yoga Unplanned – episode 3

I remember learning to take the weight on my arms for hand-stands during the yoga class, it was a pose that always made me want to leave the room.
My teacher would say “Just kick up!”. Of course, eventually I did.
This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders and wrists. Practice this with gentle repetition to gradually increase strength, so as to not strain the wrists etc.
Inversions are not advised through the Iyengar tradition during menstruation as it goes against the flow in the body at that time of the month.

Getting to know your hamstrings

These standing poses will wake up the back of the legs.
Give the poses and your legs time. Muscles take a while to increase their length, so, just like you would not expect your muscles to grow immediately (think Pop-eye) don’t expect to be as bendy as Olive oil immediately either.
The stretch should feel more like a wide stretch in the main part of the muscle rather than a sharp pointy stretching sensation at the top of the leg near the buttocks.
Keep each stretch within your own capacity and enjoy the sensation of fresher feeling legs.

Ease into the evening

I’m tired. I don’t feel like doing anything. I especially don’t feel like anyone looking at me…
These are the times when our practice can become a real friend. It whispers to you “relax, take your time, be gentle, take care, breathe smoothly, breathe quietly, becalm”

This practice is perfect as a post-work, pre-evening practice.
Be gentle , listen to your body and don’t push.
Enjoy