Create Space In Your Postures

If a yoga newbie asked what a block was for, the answer would most likely be, to bring the ground up to you.  That’s a perfect answer because that’s what it often does.

There’s this idea about yoga blocks that they’re ideally used for beginner poses, and eventually, you should no longer need them.  However, at some point, as your practice moves into more intermediate and advanced postures, you may want to use the block to create more space in the postures.  Perhaps your back could use a bit more room to lengthen in Wheel or you need an extra few inches to lift up into Lolasana.

Please keep in mind that these postures are all intermediate to advanced poses.  If you’ve never tried them before, make sure you’re attempting them under the guidance of a knowledgable yoga instructor.  As always, be safe and respect your body when it’s letting you know it’s time to stop doing a certain posture.

Wheel | Urdvha Dhanurasana

Try adding the blocks under your feet or hands to give you an extra lift.  This can be especially helpful if wheel causes a certain amount of strain to the back.  The blocks help create the space needed to lengthen the spine as you lift into the posture.  Having the blocks under your hands is particularly beneficial if you have sensitive wrists.  If you find that your blocks are sliding, try placing them against the wall for a little added support.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Cork Yoga Blocks

Cork Yoga Blocks

L-Sit

Whether you’re interested in some serious strength work or you’re practicing jumping through, adding blocks can help create the lift you need for an L-sit.  You’ll be able to maintain length throughout your spine and the stability of your shoulders with blocks under the hands.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Pendant Pose | Lolasana Or Tadagi Mudra | Raised Lotus

Blocks could be used here for either lolasana (not pictured, knees are bent and in between the hands) or tadagi mudra (balancing on hands in lotus position).  Place your blocks under your hands to give yourself the ability to lift up, without having to fold forward to reach the floor.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Chin Stand | Ganda Bherundasana

Chin stand can be extremely challenging.  If you’re not quite ready for that level of balance, but want to play with the posture, try placing blocks under the shoulders.  The blocks will help support you as you lift your feet up, but also prevent you from falling right down on your face!

Cork Yoga Blocks

Firefly Pose | Titibasana

If you have ever played with Firefly pose, you know how awkward it can be to get your hands on the floor and your feet out in front of you.  Place the blocks under your hands to give you an extra lift up.  Once the blocks are under your hands you may notice that you have the ability to lift the feet and extend your legs in front of you.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Tortoise Pose | Kurmasana

Placing blocks under your feet in Kurmasana gives you the space to bring your torso under the feet so you can move deeper into the posture.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Special Thanks to Dikla Kafka-Hamudot for posing for these photos.  You can find her teaching yoga at Bala Yoga in Kirkland, Yoga Bliss on Mercer Island, and Sattva Yoga in Redmond.

Don’t have your own set of blocks yet?  You can purchase beautiful cork yoga blocks that I designed right over on Amazon!  Not only are they beautiful, they’ll be wonderfully supportive to your practice for years to come!

The Best Reusables For Families

We are already halfway through 2018 which means if you made a New Years resolution, you probably broke it about 5 1/2 months ago.  My resolution this year was to include more reusables into our day to day.  The main things to go for our family were disposable utensils and straws, but there are so many other ways to reduce waste for your family.  If you have kids at home you already know how wasteful feeding them can be.  There are individually wrapped snacks, fruit pouches, sandwich bags, freeze pops, plastic utensils and so much more!

The items listed below are all linked to Amazon products, you can just click the picture to find the item on Amazon.  While they are all affiliate links, which means if you follow the link and purchase I will receive a portion of the sale, these are all items that my family uses every single day.

Silicon Freeze Pops

These are a summer favorite that we’ve been using for 3 years now.  These silicon molds are perfect for little ones who want a cold treat in the summer.   The best part, you just wash them up and refreeze them once your kids are done!

Added Bonus: You can fill them with whatever you want so you don’t have to resort to sugar bombs to cool off!

Yogurt and Applesauce Pouches

Back when my daughter was a baby (and I had a lot more time on my hands) I made all of her baby food.  These pouches were a perfect substitute for the pre-made pouches you find in the store.  Just fill them up, use them, wash them out, and reuse!

Added Bonus: If you lose a cap, you can totally replace it with a cap from one of the store bought brands.

Bamboo Sporks

I keep a bamboo spork in my bag for myself and both kids which we use constantly.  The kids think they’re so fun because it’s a fork and spoon in one, and I think they’re great because we don’t waste another plastic utensil every single time we eat on the go!

Added Bonus: Once they have worn down and you can’t use them anymore, you just put them into the compost!

Reusable Straws

This was a big one for us!  Straws are seriously lagging when it comes to being environmentally friendly.  Lots of cups are recyclable these days, but most straws are not.  So even though you may toss it into the recycling along with your cup, that does not mean it will get new life. This pack has everything you might need for a family.  You really don’t need a straw to consume a beverage, but my kids and I like them.

Added Bonus: This packages comes with cleaners that perfectly reach the inside of the straw.

Sandwich and Snack Bags

Another one of the most used items in our house.  I do my best to buy the kids’ snacks in bulk and then use these bags from Full Circle to bring food on the go.

Added Bonus: This package has 4 snack and sandwich bags so you’ll be set for multiple lunch boxes!

iLids

The final item on my list and this one might be the most important one!  I made a promise to myself that I would no longer buy coffee at a coffee house unless I have a reusable cup with me.  For hot beverages, it’s best to steer clear from too much plastic as it can release toxins when it gets hot.  So my cup is just a big old mason jar!  They’re perfect for hot or cold drinks, cheap to replace if (or in my case when) you break the jar, and you can have different sizes based on what you’re drinking.  Pop one of these on top and you’re all set!

Added Bonus: This set comes with 3 lids so you’ll have extras to share!

Seattle SUP Yoga

Get on the water this summer with three of the best SUP Yoga teachers in Seattle.  In addition to regularly scheduled SUP Yoga classes throughout the greater Seattle area, they each have their own special offerings.  Carly from Catalyst Yoga NW offers community through retreats and YogaMosa.  Jill from SUP Yoga Seattle has free community events where you can help cleanup Green Lake while enjoying your float.  Georgina from Azul SUP and Yoga offers a huge variety of classes including yoga wheel training and inversions!  Check them all out!  Furthermore, all of these instructors are amazing with newbies.  If you’ve never been on a board or never done yoga on a board before, they will all be able to help you get moving in a safe, fun, and supported environment!
SUP Yoga

CATALYST YOGA NW

Carly Hayden offers all-levels outdoor paddleboard yoga in Everett and Mukilteo, and indoor pool paddleboard yoga in Snohomish and Everett. Boards are provided by Hydrology Stand Up Paddle. In addition to these lovely floating classes, Carly brings yoga by land or sea to her transformational weekend retreats, fun and informative workshops, and YogaMosa. As the creator of the Professional Stand Up Paddleboard Association’s SUP yoga teacher training program, she’s your girl if you dream of sharing the beauty of paddleboard yoga with your students! Dive deep into the art of teaching SUP yoga at her training retreats or one-on-one training.
Find out more about Catalyst Yoga NW
SUP Yoga

SUP Yoga Seattle

SUP Yoga Seattle classes run Thursday through Sunday at Greenlake in north Seattle. The last Sunday of each month is a Yin (restorative) Float at 11am. SUP Yoga Seattle has an annual Solstice Float on Thursday, June 21 from 5-7pm. You can celebrate the abundant sunshine with intention setting, a paddle on Greenlake, and yoga on the water. On June 23 SUP Yoga Seattle will have their first free community event, Paddle Plog, from 1-3. We’ll paddle the perimeter of Greenlake and collect any trash we find (plogging is a Swedish-invented term for running and picking up trash). Gloves and bags provided. The event is free if you have your own equipment – board rental is $10 for the event. Please sign up for it in the website.
Find out more about SUP Yoga Seattle
SUP Yoga

AZUL SUP YOGA

Azul SUP & Yoga provides one-on-one yoga and SUP classes in addition to regularly scheduled boxing, yoga and SUP group classes. Check them out for information about teacher trainings, special classes (handstands, yoga wheel, and yoga for athletes) and fun Blacklight Yoga events.
Sup Yoga classes schedule Tuesday Thursday Friday 6pm Saturday 10:30am Tuesday Thursday 10:30am
Find out more about Azul SUP Yoga

The Mother Hearts Project

Seattle Yoga Photographer

This past weekend I was asked to photograph a group of women who have experienced the loss of a baby.  The request was pretty simple, create images of the mother’s with their hands over their hearts in order to symbolize that they’ll always hold their baby in their heart.  Of course, as a group of yoga teachers, we added another layer to this already beautiful idea by adding in yoga postures.

The photos we took that day will be submitted to a larger collection of photos taken by mother’s throughout the world who have dealt with the loss of their baby.  You can find more information on The Mother Hearts Project website.

Thank you so much to the lovely ladies who were willing to pose for the photos and also thank you to Three Trees Yoga for lending us their studio.

 

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Take a Breath

A regular breath practice is one of the most beneficial things you’ll bring into your world (if you haven’t already).  Below you’ll find 5 different breath practices that you can incorporate into your daily life.  Over time you’ll find that intentional breathing has an unlimited number of benefits.  There is a breath practice for almost everything!

Belly Breathing, Diaphragmatic Breathing

This is the easiest and arguably most important breath practice you can work with.

How to do it:

In a comfortable seated position, you may place your hands on your belly or in your lap. Lengthen through the spine to sit nice and tall and begin to take your breath in as deep as you can. If your hands are on your belly you’ll feel the belly rise and fall. You could do this anytime during your day. Start with sitting and intentionally breathing for 5 minutes during your day. Eventually, you’ll reach the point where you’ll feel frustrations begin to work their way into your body and you’ll immediately resolve them by engaging the breath. If you’re not a regular belly breather, you’ll eventually find this simple tool to be such a powerful part of your world.


2 to 1 breathing, Long Exhale

Taking a long exhale in your breath is extremely calming. In this breath practice, you’ll inhale for a select amount of time, and then draw out your exhale for double the amount of time.

How to do it:

Inhale for 3, exhale for 6. Start wherever you can, maybe just 2:4 seconds for inhale and exhale. Over time you’ll begin working your way up to a long exhale of 10 seconds. This breath forces you to focus on your count while also calming you through breathing. A word of caution though, never inhale longer than you exhale. It’s a very unpleasant experience!

 

Sitali Breath

Sitali is used whenever you need to cool off! Use it in the summer, during menopause, after a tough workout. In this practice, you’ll roll your tongue like a straw and inhale through your tongue. Close your mouth, exhale through your nose. Repeat this breath, noticing the cooling effect it has when you inhale.

How to do it:

In this practice, you’ll roll your tongue like a straw and inhale through your tongue. Close your mouth, exhale through your nose. Repeat this breath, noticing the cooling effect it has when you inhale.

Box Breathing

I love this breath for focus. It requires you to pay attention to your count. Avoid attempting this practice until AFTER you feel comfortable in diaphragmatic and 2 to 1 breath.

How to do it:

For this breath, you’ll work through a count (start with just 3 or 4) for your inhale, hold your breath, count through the exhale, hold without any breath.  All 4 parts of the breath will follow the same count. Repeat this for as long as you feel comfortable, making sure to stop and return to normal breathing whenever you feel like it’s too much.

Nadi Shodhana | Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate nostril breath can lower the heart rate and reduce anxiety.  Focusing on the position and movement of your hand will help you keep track of your breath without letting the mind wander.

How to do it:

Take your hand in a fist and let just your pinky and thumb out of the fist. Sit nice and tall, take a big inhale. Use your pinky to cover your left nostril, exhale. With your left nostril still covered, inhale. Switch your fingers to cover your right nostril, exhale. With your finger still over your right nostril, inhale. Switch to cover your left nostril and repeat the whole breath sequence.

 

Bhramari | Bumble Bee Breathing

MY FAVORITE! I’m so excited to share this breath practice with you! Have you ever had a time where you need to just zone out? You needed to shut the world out for just a few minutes and go inside for a little me time? If yes, this breath practice, as silly as it might seem, is perfect for you!

How to do it:

  1. Take both hands in front of you. Separate your thumbs, index and middle, pinky and ring fingers.*

  1. Bring your hands up to your face with your eyes closed. Gently place your index and middle fingers over your eyelids, not pressing, just resting them over the eyes.
  2. Your thumbs will reach back and cover the cartilage of your ears. Again not pressing just gently resting them over the cartilage enough that you’re covering the opening of the ear.
  3. Place the pinky and ring finger over the top of the lips.
  4. Inhale through the nose
  5. Take a long exhale, again through the nose, and create a MMMMMMM vibration with your mouth closed as you exhale.

*I’ve seen the hand position practiced in a variety of different ways, this is how I was taught and how I’ve done it since then.

To make it a little simpler, you can also practice this breath with just your index finger covering the cartilage of your ears.

 

You can purchase any of the items from this post below.  These aren’t sponsored items, just things I wear on a daily basis.  The Washington OM is my own personal design, I hope you like it!

Washington OM t-Shirt: My OM State

Blue Athletic Leggings: TeMa Athletics TeMa promotes body positivity and encourages women to love their body for what it can do, not just how it looks.

Perfect Circle Bracelet: Combat Flip Flops This Veteran owned company uses a portion of it’s profits to provide education and work to the women and children who have been impacted by war.  They provide jobs to US gold star family members as well as those whose lives have been dramatically changed after combat.

Crow Pose Modifications

Yoga Blocks

Try Crow Pose With These Modifications

Bakasana or Crow Pose as it’s commonly referred to is one of the first true arm balances you might encounter in your asana practice.  This pose can be quite challenging as you first begin attempting to work into it.  There are many things that go into the posture including arm strength, core strength, and proper hand placement.  If you don’t quite feel ready to work into the balance unassisted, try the following modifications to help you master your first arm balance!

If you don’t already have a solid set of yoga blocks for your practice, you can find them for sale on Etsy and Amazon


Use blocks under your feet for liftoff As you squat down and prep yourself for Bakasana, place a block under your feet to give you a little liftoff.  One of the most difficult things to do when you start your arm balancing practice is simply lifting your feet off of the floor.  By giving yourself a small boost you may find it easier to lift your toes up and play with balance.  Lift one foot at a time, until you’re able to pick both feet up.
Yoga Blocks
Yoga Blocks


Place a Block Under Your Head allowing you to feel supported as you lift your feet from the floor.  Having a block will give you the ability to focus more attention on lifting your feet rather than keeping your head off the floor.  It may also help you get over the fear of having your head off of the ground.

Yoga Blocks


Place Your Hands On Blocks This modification will help you create some space.  One of the most difficult parts of this pose is forcing your body into a tight ball before lifting up.  If you struggle to get into a deep squat, this modification gives you the space you might need to be able to lift up the hips. Once your hips are up, your feet will naturally start to lift from the floor.

Yoga Blocks


Bonus! If you’ve already mastered the art of this beginner arm balance, try lifting up with a block between your feet.  This will challenge you to fully engage the core and focus.

Yoga Blocks

 

Blocks are currently available for sale on Etsy and Amazon with more buying options coming soon!

Week 4 | Balance | Yoga For The Core

Yoga for core strength
Reblogged from Seattle Yoga News

Yoga for core strength

Our practice so far has been building us up for this challenge. We’ve engaged in poses to stabilize our core, built our endurance with level 2 core stabilizing poses, added a little heat with a fire sequence, and now we will finish strong with balance! As with any balance pose we engage in, please proceed with caution. Listen to your body and move slowly through this practice. Feel free to also use a prop or wall for support as we engage.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Stand tall upright either on or off your mat. Take a few cleansing breaths to center yourself before your practice.
As you inhale, lift your arms above your head and lace all but the index fingers. Draw your forearms just over the ears and relax the shoulders.
As you exhale, step forward with your right leg while lifting the back left leg off the earth. Engage your pelvic muscles as you begin to draw your chest forward. Move forward until your body is parallel to the earth.
Hold Warrior 3 for 5 breaths deep breaths, keeping the body stable and core engaged. Repeat on your other leg.

Yoga for the Core

Crane (Bakasana) to Headstand (Sirsasana)

Note: Feel free to practice this pose in front of a wall for support. As with any transitional balance pose, move slowly and with control. Try practicing both poses individually before attempting the transition.

Come into a deep squat with your feet about hips-width apart
Place your hands flat on the earth about shoulders-width apart with your fingers wide-spread. Ensure your elbows are drawn into your sides (it helps to have your hands turned out slightly on the earth with your index fingers pointing straight ahead).
Place your knees on your forearms and begin to shift your weight onto your arms one leg at a time (try to get your knees high above your arms. The deeper you are able to bed into your hips, the higher you’ll be able to take your knees).
As you move forward, keep your neck lifted and take both toes off the earth into Crane. Hold for 5 breaths.

Yoga for the Core
As we make the transition to our Headstand, move with control and stability. Begin to round the spine and move the crown of the head towards the earth. Land into a tripod handstand with the crown of your head and both hands stabilizing your body.
When you are able to find your balance in tripod headstand, exhale and begin to move your legs up towards the sky, keeping your core engaged and slowly un-rounding your spine.
Hold in your headstand for 5 breaths. *Please Note: These photos do not show a tripod headstand, which is a great option for individuals who are newer to inversions.  To work into a tripod headstand you’ll keep both hands on the mat in front of you with your arms bent.  This will allow for additional support in headstand.*

Yoga for the Core

Headstand/Sirsasana Toe Taps

From your headstand, keep your pelvic muscles engaged as you separate your legs. Hold your headstand with your legs separated.
From your balance keep your core braced as you lower one leg at a time towards the earth to tap (for an additional challenge, see if you can tap your legs to the opposite side of your body).
Tap each toe on the earth 5 times.

Yoga for the Core

Yoga for the Core

Yoga for the Core

Week 3 | Fire | Yoga For The Core

Yoga for core strength
Yoga for Core Strength
Reblogged from Seattle Yoga News

This week is all about building endurance. We’ve set our base last week with core stabilization poses, now we can really work on building onto our poses.

Let’s add some fire to our practice! This week will focus on really strengthening our core through movement. Think of this as a flowing power sequence. Feel free to take a Vinyasa between each of these poses to add some heat to this sequence.

Extended Chair Pose to Airplane Arms
  1. Stand tall with your toes and knees together. Inhale as you raise your arms and as you exhale, bend your knees and sit back into Extended Chair Pose.
  2. Take a breath in your Extended Chair Pose and as you exhale, engage your pelvic muscles as you lower your upper body towards the earth and extend both arms behind you.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for 5 breaths.

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga for Core Strength

Knee to Nose Core Flow
  1. From Downward Facing Dog, extend your right leg into 3-Legged Dog. Ensure your hips and shoulders are square.
  2. Exhale and engage your pelvic muscles as you roll your body forward. As you begin to shift your shoulders over your wrists into plank, round your back and tuck your chin as bring your knee towards your nose.
  3. Inhale and extend your leg back into 3-Legged Dog.
  4. This time, exhale as you begin to shift your shoulders over your wrists into plank and draw your right knee to the outside of your right elbow, engaging the outer oblique muscles. Keep your hips lifted throughout and core engaged.
  5. Inhale and extend your leg back into 3-Legged Dog.
  6. On this final engagement, exhale as you begin to shift your shoulders over your wrists into plank and draw your right knee across your body towards the left elbow. Keep your hips lifted throughout and core engaged.
  7. Inhale and extend your leg back into 3-Legged Dog.
  8. Repeat steps 1 – 7 with the opposite leg.

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga for Core Strength

High Lunge with a Kick
  1. From your Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands with the knee directly over the ankle. Tuck your back toes under your foot and straighten your back leg into High Lunge. Ensure your hips and shoulders are square as your raise your arms above your head. Hold your pose.
  2. Exhale and begin to shift your weight onto your right foot as you kick your back left leg forward. Engage your core for balance as you extend your left leg in front of your and draw your hands towards your sides for balance.
  3. Inhale and draw the left leg back into High Lunge.
  4. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for 5 breaths.
  5. Repeat this sequence on your left side.

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga for Core Strength

 

Our 4 week progressive core sequences

This 4 week sequence is brought to you by Diana Ratana of Diana Ratana Yoga.  Diana took her first yoga class at the age of 16 and from there, she quickly fell in love with the compassion, kindness, energy, and confidence she gained from yoga. What began as a means to get fit turned into a lifelong passion. Today, she instructs at Hot Feet Fitness where she regularly uses the lessons and tools learned from practice in her day to day life and vice versa. Her mission is to teach others how to learn from yoga and put their best foot forward to gain the most from their lives as well.

Week 2 | Endure | Yoga For The Core

Yoga for Core Strength
Reblogged from Seattle Yoga News

 

This week is all about building endurance. We’ve set our base last week with core stabilization poses, now we can really work on building onto our poses.

Plank Crunches
  1. Start in high plank position: Ensure that the shoulders are aligned over the wrists, and spread your fingers as you press down onto your knuckles and palm. Distribute the weight evenly across your hands (grounding of the 4 corners of your hand). Keep your legs straight with your toes tucked under your feet and facing forward. Imagine a long line extending from your head to your heels which keeps your abdomen, legs, and bottom engaged. Draw power in your plank and breath, take a moment to find your base.
  2. As you exhale, engage your pelvic floor to stabilize yourself, then begin to lift your right leg up and back. Draw power in your balance.
  3. As you inhale, extend your left arm up and forward, continue pressing the mat away and engaging your pelvic floor as you balance.
  4. Once you’ve found stability, exhale as you begin to round your spine while keep your core engaged. Bend your elbow and knee to touch beneath your belly. Keep your belly drawn throughout.
  5. On the next inhale, re-extend the limb.
  6. Repeat this sequence for 3 – 5 reps, then engage on the opposing limbs.

Yoga for Core Strength

Plank Crunches: Extended Opposite Arm and Leg

 Yoga for Core Strength

Plank Crunches: Opposite Knee to Elbow

 

Side Plank Crunches
  1. As we build onto our plank sequence, start again in high plank. Keep your pelvic floor engaged and abs flexed. As you begin to exhale, shift your weight onto your right palm and extend your left arm towards the sky. Turn your right foot onto its knifes edge as you stack the left side of the body over the right. Hips and shoulders should be stacked directly on top of one another.
  2. Extend your left forearm over your ear as you inhale. As you exhale, simultaneously bend the elbow and knee to touch. Keep your belly drawn throughout.
  3. On the next inhale, re-extend the limbs.
  4. Repeat this sequence 3 – 5 times, then repeat on the opposite side.Yoga for Core Strength
Side Plank with Extended Arm to Front

Yoga for Core Strength


Side Plank Elbow to Knee

 

Dolphin Plank and Legs In + Out
  1. Lie on your belly with your elbows directly under your wrists and your feet hips width apart.
  2. Brace your core and shift your weight onto your forearms and toes. Lift your hips off of your mat and hold. Image a long line extending from your shoulders to your heels as your breath through your plank.
  3. As you exhale, jump your feet past hips width and hold your plank. Your feet will be wide and possibly land off the mat.
  4. On your next inhale, jump your feet back together onto your mat at hips width.
  5. Repeat for 5 – 10 breaths, keeping your core engaged throughout.
  6. Yoga for Core Strength
Dolphin Plank Pose
Eagle (Garudasana) Crunches
  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and cross your left leg over your right (if you can, attempt to tuck the right foot behind the left calf).
  2. In similar fashion, cross your arms with your left arm on top of your right (if you can, attempt to have the forearms cross and palms meet).
  3. Engage pelvic muscles on your next breath in and on your exhale, bend your knees and elbows to touch. Lift your chest and engage your core as your knees and elbows meet.
  4. On your next breath in, lie back and extend your limbs back in neutral position.
  5. Repeat for 5 – 10 breaths.
Yoga for Core Strength
Supine Garudasana Arms and Legs

Yoga for Core Strength

Bring the Elbows and Knees to Touch in Supine Garudasana

This 4 week sequence is brought to you by Diana Ratana of Diana Ratana Yoga.  Diana took her first yoga class at the age of 16 and from there, she quickly fell in love with the compassion, kindness, energy, and confidence she gained from yoga. What began as a means to get fit turned into a lifelong passion. Today, she instructs at Hot Feet Fitness where she regularly uses the lessons and tools learned from practice in her day to day life and vice versa. Her mission is to teach others how to learn from yoga and put their best foot forward to gain the most from their lives as well.

Week 1 | Stabilize | Yoga For The Core

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga For The Core

Reblogged from Seattle Yoga News

Our goal for this week is to set the base for our practice. The set of poses for this week aim to stabilize and strengthen our core. Repeat this sequence daily as we build strength for our core flow sequence next week.

Cat/Cow
  1. Start in table top position, take a moment to find yourself on your mat. Ensure that the shoulders are aligned over the wrist, hips over knees.
  2. As you inhale, press the mat away from you as you lift your chest and tailbone towards the sky. Let the belly sink towards the earth. Lift your head to look forward. You are now in Cow Pose.
  3. As you exhale, round the spine, continue pressing the mat away as you tuck the chin towards your chest and tailbone in. Keep the belly drawn in and spine curved towards the sky. You are now in Cat Pose.
  4. Repeat this sequence 3 – 5 times.
Yoga for Core Strength
Cow Pose
Yoga for Core Strength
Cat Pose

Cat and Cow Crunches

  1. As we build onto our cat/cow sequence, start again in table top. Extend your left arm forward in alignment with your shoulder. Extend the opposite right leg back in alignment with your hip. Keep your belly drawn as we hold in our balance for a few breaths.
  2. As you exhale, begin to curl the spin back into cat pose while simultaneously bending the elbow and drawing the knee and elbow to touch beneath your belly. Keep your belly drawn throughout.
  3. On the next inhale, re-extend the limbs to meet back in extended table top.
  4. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for 10 breaths, being sure to sync your breath to your movements.
  5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 on the opposing limbs.

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga for Core Strength

Boat Pose (Navasana)
  1. Sit on your mat with your legs extended forward in a comfortable seat. Draw your belly in to protect your lower spine as you begin to lift through the top of your sternum and lean back from your seat (feel free to place your hands on your mat for support). Make sure your spine doesn’t round as you lean back. Keep the chest moving forward in Navasana.
  2. Begin to balance on the seat of your two sitting bones and tailbone as you lift your feet from your mat. Keep your belly drawn as you exhale and draw your feel to half-mast (knee level). Option to extend legs into full boat.
  3. Draw your arms to shoulders level as you hold your pose. Hold for 5 – 10 full breaths.

Yoga for Core Strength

Dolphin Plank
  1. Lie on your belly with your elbows directly under your wrists and your feet hips width apart.
  2. Brace your core and shift your weight onto your forearms and toes. Lift your hips off of your mat and hold. Image a long line extending from your shoulders to your heels as your breath through your Dolphin Plank.
  3. Hold the pose for 5 – 10 breaths.
  4. Option to hold plank on your knees as needed.

Yoga for Core Strength

Side Dolphin Planks
  1. From Dolphin Plank, begin to shift to the right side of your body; shifting your weight onto your right forearm and the knife’s edge of your right foot.
  2. Keep your core tight and hips lifted as you extend your left arm towards the sky.
  3. Hold the post for 5 – 10 breaths.

Yoga for Core Strength

Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
  1. Lie on your belly and forearms with your elbows bent and placed directly underneath the shoulders.
  2. As you inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor in a slight upper back backbend.
  3. Use the traction from the arms to lengthen through the belly and lower back. Hold the pose for 5 – 10 breaths.

Yoga for Core Strength

 

This 4 week sequence is brought to you by Diana Ratana of Diana Ratana Yoga.  Diana took her first yoga class at the age of 16 and from there, she quickly fell in love with the compassion, kindness, energy, and confidence she gained from yoga. What began as a means to get fit turned into a lifelong passion. Today, she instructs at Hot Feet Fitness where she regularly uses the lessons and tools learned from practice in her day to day life and vice versa. Her mission is to teach others how to learn from yoga and put their best foot forward to gain the most from their lives as well.