Category Archives: Yoga

Another successful 30 day challenge!!

Wow did the month of September fly by or what?! I think it is because of the 30 day yoga challenge I was taking part in, it has been so much fun! What an experience, I seriously don’t want it to end!  I have met some wonderful people through this Be the Change Challenge and am quite proud of how well everyone has done!  What I look forward to most this weekend is a class on Sunday with Megan Campbell then off to chow down with some new friends (other challengers) at The Table in Westboro to celebrate and share stories our successes (and struggles) this past month! Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way and helped me reach my fundraising goal! There is still time to donate 🙂

I decided to sign up for this challenge organized by Megan Campbell with the intention of getting into the habit of doing yoga every single day.  Yes I know, I’m a new yoga teacher so I should already be practicing yoga everyday, well I have to be honest, while I have been doing yoga at least 3-4 times a week I haven’t been doing it everyday!  I guess all I needed was a little 30 day challenge to get me on the right track!

After all, many spiritual traditions refer to 30 days and the power it has to transform habits, relationships, jobs, patterns. It’s within that time span you gain the power to make or break habitual patterns and ways of living.

I found that during this challenge I was very diligent and made time to get on my mat everyday (except for one day but I did it twice the following day, not sure if that counts but oh well!) At first I was taking advantage of the free yoga classes that we being offered at Pure Yoga Ottawa but as my days started getting busier I found that I was really enjoying doing my own practice at home!  The hardest part (just like anything else) is getting there on your mat (showing up), connecting with your breath, taking the time to relax and giving yourself a few moments to feel grounded and at peace.  Once I get there it is always feels so good  and I always finish feeling better and as though I’ve accomplished something 🙂  What’s even better is I get a great stretch out of it and depending on my mood and energy levels, a great core workout!

So do I think that everyone should try doing yoga every single day? Is it the best way to become happier, healthier and more in tune with your body and your surroundings!? OF COURSE! But don’t take my word for it, you’ll have to try it yourself! Many yoga studios offer first time visitors a first time unlimited intro month special (for example at Pure Yoga they offer an intro special of $40 for unlimited yoga your first month!)  If going to a yoga studio everyday is not feasible for you there are many other options…check out my friend Sarah’s video series called Surviving Yoga for more tips on how to get started in yoga and how to stay committed to a yoga practice.

Now if doing yoga isn’t something that interests you THAT IS OKAY!! Maybe you have other goals you want to achieve or habits that you want work on.  My Mom (for example) has done a few 30 day challenges but her first one she went without wine or beer for 30 days!!  Sounds tough right?? She thought so too, but after only 2 weeks of no drinking she didn’t even feel like she wanted to drink.  She also was happy because she lost weight, trimmed inches and felt so much better!  In fact, since the challenge (8 months ago) she rarely drinks at all anymore!  Imagine that?!

So are you sick of having hang overs or want to get rid your beer belly?  I dare you to challenge yourself to going without any alcohol for 30 days.  Once you get past the first week or turn down an offer to go for drinks with a friend you’ll be able to do it for the rest of the month!  You’ll be amazed how much better you feel and look (less bloated, more energy, less cravings etc).  And yes, you might ‘accidentally’ have a drink during the challenge but don’t beat yourself up about it.  Just acknowledge what you did and move on!  We are human, we make mistakes, bad decisions etc.  It’s not the end of the world.  But don’t ever give up because at some point you’ll get sick of constantly ‘starting over’.   I plan on continuing to practice yoga everyday, I find I really miss it when I don’t do it 😦 Now that’s a good thing!

In case you haven’t gotten the point of my post yet, here it is….SET A GOAL, TELL YOU FRIENDS, PICK A DATE, COME UP WITH A PLAN (do a 30 day challenge), SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A SUPPORTIVE GROUP/FRIENDS, STICK TO YOUR PLAN and the best part–> CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!!

It’s that simple 🙂

Did you know that the beginning of next month starts on a Monday??  October 1, 2012; the perfect date to start working on your next goal…what’s yours going to be?? I’m going to begin preparing for a figure competition next spring 😉 The 7 month countdown begins!!

Please share your goals/30 day challenge below…

Les

Also, don’t forget I am teaching yoga this Sunday at 10am at LC Fitness studio.  It’s an all levels class and only $10 dollars for a 75 minute class.  Bring your own mat, a water bottle, a towel and a friend.  Stay tuned for updates on new class times starting in a few weeks 🙂 Hope to see you there!!

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Are you too hard on yourself??

Good evening!  I have been behind on my posts lately but there are some good reasons for that.  First of all, my boyfriend has been moving in (yes very exciting) and I have been helping him pack, clean, move, unpack etc.  Secondly, business is picking up so all the extra time I used to have in between clients is getting less and less, now that’s a good thing!  But I promise I will continue to provide you with useful (I hope!) health, fitness and nutrition tips every Monday and Friday via my blog.

I haven’t posted anything ‘yoga’ related lately and I was inspired to write this post after meeting a friend for coffee and having some deep discussions…

I recently read a book called “Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life” by Judith Lasater  and found it to be very empowering and have learned some great lessons from it.  To give you a brief summary, the author does a great job of explaining the ancient teachings of yoga and how it can be applied to our lives (aka yoga off the mat).  I love this stuff and even if you’re not currently practicing yoga I highly recommend this book if you are seeking guidance in deepening your relationships with yourself, your family and friends and the world around you (who isn’t??)

What I love the most about this book is how each chapter is divided into 5 parts: a verse from the Yoga Sutras or Bhagavad Gita (aka Yoga Bibles), an essay, a guided practice, more suggestions for practice and Mantras (‘manas’ means mind+’tra’ means to transcend=helps you to transcend ordinary ways of thinking) for Daily Living.  The practice sections will help to support your exploration of ‘living your yoga’.

One chapter in the book in particular really resonated with me, Chapter 4, Self-Judgement, and here’s why…maybe you can relate…

My whole life I have been someone who has worked hard in everything I do, school, sports, relationships, work.   I always strived to “be the best” whether it was to get straight A’s in school, be part of the starting line up on the basketball or volleyball team, I wanted everyone to like me, be number 1 in the company etc.  In the past I have also been very hard on myself and found that my inner dialogue (yes I talk to myself sometimes!) was somewhat self-judgemental.  If I wasn’t successful or things didn’t turn out exactly the way I had hoped I would be really hard on myself and blame myself for not getting what I wanted.  This is where the “no pain, no gain” mindset all started but after reading this book Judith recommends we should practice an attitude of “no pain, no pain” instead.  I like that!  It applies to all areas of our lives, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.

I have included an excerpt from the chapter that explains ‘self judgement’ really well;

“…I discovered something even more disconcerting: there was no way that I could be harsh towards myself and, at the same time, be compassionate to others.  I realized also that the process of silently putting myself down was actually a form of egoism.  If you expect more from yourself than from others, you are saying that you are better than others and, therefore must perform at a superior level.  I do not mean that you should not set goals for yourself.  Rather, the question is, how do you react if you do not meet these goals? Honestly admitting that you may have not done your best is not judgement.  It is judgement when you draw a conclusion about yourself based on your ideas about failure.  Honesty involves taking responsibility, judgement has to do with blame.  To view yourself as bad or a failure because you did not accomplish what you set out to do is judgement.  To state clearly and simply that you did not accomplish your plan is taking responsibility “.

Pretty deep stuff but very profound!  This got me thinking and I have been ‘practicing’ being less critical of myself and others.  It is quite liberating and I am finally beginning to feel (after 29 years) that I AM perfect just as I am.  Sounds silly but I am sure many of you can relate to the feelings of  “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy” or “I will never be able to lose weight/run a half marathon/gain muscle….”   this is very self-judgemental.  The first step in freeing yourself of these thoughts of self-judgement is to be aware of them.  In the book, Judith provides some great ways to practice changing your attitude or inner dialogue (for example repeating the mantra “I am perfect just as I am”) so you’ll have to read it to learn more!

So if you have made it to this point (the end!), you are either a) interested in learning more about ‘living your yoga’ or b) you can relate to being judgemental towards yourself or c) you just really really enjoy reading my blog (not matter what the topic) or d) all of the above!

If you have any more questions or comments about this concept I encourage you to share your thoughts…I am still learning soooo much about the yogic philosophy but feel the need to share some insights once in awhile.  There are so many great books out there that I need to dive into! Ever since I have become a yoga teacher I am becoming more interested in the spiritual side of yoga and less concerned with the physical practice.

Good night and remember YOU ARE ENOUGH and YOU ARE PERFECT JUST AS YOU ARE!  Don’t forget it 😉  And tell yourself that once in awhile…you will begin to believe it!!

Les 🙂

Free yoga anyone???

Another week has just FLOWN by!  WOW!  The end of April is approaching which means summer will be here before we know it!  I am looking forward to some warmer weather, I need to work on my tan…

As many of you know, I recently graduated from the 200 hour Hatha yoga teacher training program at Rama Lotus last Sunday.  So I am looking for some people to teach now!  

Before I decide what time my class will be held I wanted to get an idea of what time is convenient for most people.  I haven’t taught a group yet at the studio where I train (other than my clients one on one) so I’m not sure how many people I can fit in the space but I am guessing at least 10 and up to 15 or 20.  The type of yoga I will be offering will be a 1 hour all levels Hatha yoga class, with some surprises along the way 😉  So whether you are new to yoga or an experienced yogi, all are welcome!

Comment below, post on my Facebook or message me with your requests for a class time.  The classes will be held @

LC Fitness Studio

1376 Bank Street (Bank and Ohio Street, just up from Billings Bridge Mall)

Suite B (in the basement) 200

Ottawa, ON

Since I enjoy some long weekends during the summer months the yoga class may not be held EVERY Sunday but I will announce on Facebook and keep you in the loop as to what days I will be offering classes.

So take a look at your schedules and give me an idea of what time you would prefer to do yoga on Sundays.  I appreciate your feedback!

 

I’m off to Pure Yoga Ottawa now with my most awesome roommate Melissa for a Hot Vinyasa Flow  class @ 12pm.  If you haven’t been to this new hot yoga studio in Westboro you are missing out!!  They have some great specials for new customers…

Namaste,

Les 🙂

Tired of having tight shoulders? Read this!

Many of you spend hours sitting at a desk, hunched over in your chair, then you take a break for lunch, sit down again to eat, head back to your desk staring at your computer screen, then after work you walk to your car or bus to sit as you travel home, next stop is your couch (sitting again) to watch tv, etc etc.  So much of the day is spent sitting down!  No wonder our bodies become so inflexible and we learn bad habits (such as slouching) which can lead to tightness in the shoulders and chest, hips and hamstrings and weakness in the upper back, core, low back and glutes.  There are many ways to prevent this from happening but in today’s post I will be sharing with you some stretches for the shoulders (as requested by my cousin Billy!) as many people suffer from tight shoulders.

You may think that you don’t have time to stretch or don’t have enough room in your office or home to stretch but most of these stretches you can do sitting in a chair!  Benefits of stretching the shoulders include increased circulation, range of motion, flexibility, and reduced stress, so what are you waiting for?? Try these stretches at least three times a week, it will only take a few minutes and you can say you did yoga (all these stretches are yoga poses as well!)

Cow Face Pose 

From a comfortable standing or seated position, stretch your arms out shoulder height in a T-shape. Rotate your right hand to face behind you, so that you feel your shoulder joint rotating forward. Reach your right hand behind you, bending at the elbow and finding the middle of your shoulder blades with your palm facing away from you. Now reach your left arm overhead, rotating the palm to face behind you. Bend at your elbow and clasp your right fingertips or hand. If you cannot reach your hand, use a towel or strap so both hands have something to clasp. Release and switch sides.

Eagle Pose

From a comfortable standing or seated position, hold your arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing down. Cross your right arm over your left. Bend both elbows so your fingertips point up and then try to cross your forearms and palms. Lift your elbows up to the height of your shoulders and press your forearms forward so your upper back rounds. Release and switch sides. If your shoulders are too tight to cross forearms and palms, grab for opposite shoulders instead.

Dolphin Pose

This one you will need to get down on your hands and knees but you can modify this stretch by placing your hands on your desk or a table and sticking your butt out and flattening your back, looks something like the photo below….

Starting on your hands and knees, place your elbows on the ground underneath your shoulders. Place your palms together. Tuck your toes under, lifting your knees off the ground. Once your knees are up, begin to push your chest toward your thighs. If your hamstrings are on the tight side, bend your knees to take some of the stretch away from your legs and avoid rounding your back. Try not to let your shoulders push past your elbows. Let your head relax down between your biceps.

Backward Reach 

From a standing position with your feet shoulder distance, interlace your fingers at your low back. Stretch your knuckles down toward the floor, straightening your arms, and then begin to lift your hands away from your lower back. If it is hard to interlace your fingers, grab a strap or towel with both hands, keeping your hands shoulder distance. If you would like to deepen the stretch, close your palms together with your fingers interlaced and fold forward over your legs.  Obviously we all aren’t this flexible so don’t worry so much about how close your nose is to your knees, instead focus on the stretch in your shoulders and chest, so this is another option…

I checked out this website for detailed descriptions of each stretch…
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/378110-shoulder-stretches-for-yoga/#ixzz1rxK4tUoN

 

There are many other stretches for the shoulders but I thought I would show you a few simple ones that you can do with little equipment, limited space and in 5 minutes or less.   Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds or 5 deep breaths before moving onto the next one.  Do these stretches at least three times a week for best results.

Any suggestions for shoulder stretches you love (or hate)?  There are some great YouTube videos that will take you through some shoulder and neck stretches you can do at your desk.  Here is one by Rodney Yee (a famous yogi) that I just did and wow what a release! Check it out–> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLPfP1oRJFM

Enjoy!

On a side note, this is my last weekend of yoga teacher training! I can’t believe how fast these last 8 months (or 12 weekends) have flown by!  I feel truly blessed to have been a part of this amazing program and thank all of you who have been so supportive along the way! What a journey and I still can’t believe after this weekend I will be a certified yoga instructor!!??

Stay tuned for information on when and where I will be teaching…

Have a great weekend everyone!

Les 🙂

February yoga challenge almost complete!

I committed to doing yoga everyday for the month of February and I am happy to say that I am 24 for 24 so far and I plan on keeping this up from now on!  What a difference doing yoga everyday makes!  Not only do I feel my flexibility improving but I feel more grounded, calm, and I find I take time to enjoy everything around me and am better at paying attention to what is happening inside my mind and body.  Some of you are probably thinking “OK what has happened to Leslie, she’s gone all cookoo on us” but honestly yoga does wonders for my (and everyone’s) emotional and spiritual self and it has brought me a sense of calmness and clarity.

When I used to go to yoga classes I would go for a workout and found that I would compete with myself or compare myself to others in the class.  I also remember not being able to clear my mind or focus in any of the postures (even in savasana or corpse pose!), as I was more concerned about “doing them right” and my mind would be racing thinking about the millions of things I had to do.  Now it’s totally different.  Whether I practice yoga in my room for 20 minutes or do a 90 minute class, I become so connected to my mind, body and am very conscious of my breath that it becomes a meditative practice which I LOVE!!  I have learned that yoga is not just about the postures but about connecting the mind and body and focusing your attention inwards which can be applied to life off the mat as well.

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on why you do yoga.  If you started a challenge at the beginning of the month how’s it going?  If you weren’t spot on (did it everyday) give yourself a pat on the back because any day that you did what you set out to do is wonderful.  I plan on continuing to do yoga everyday as I look forward to it and feel amazing afterwards (plus I am supposed to do yoga everyday since I am a yoga teacher trainee!!)

Have a wonderful weekend.  Keep your fingers crossed that we don’t get all the snow that is expected (unless you like snow of course)!

Les 🙂

Do you practice santosha?

For the past two weeks my yoga homework has been to practice santosha in my daily life.  Here is an article I found online that explains the concept of santosha very well.  I couldn’t have said it better myself…so read and ENJOY!

Post image for Santosha

Santosha. I love the way this word sounds and feels as it rolls off my tongue. It could be an exotic food, a tropical getaway, or a really excellent cocktail (one that is pink with an umbrella), but it is none of those things.Santosha is part of the eight limbs of yoga and is one of the niyamas. The niyamas take a deep dive into our attitudes about life and how we feel about ourselves as outlined by Patanjali.

As I was studying The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the concept of santosha really resonated with me. It was the one I really wanted to follow, my favorite niyama, and I wanted to be its poster child.

From the translation of the yoga sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda, the definition of santosha is being content with what you have and where you are at instead of wishing for things you don’t have or daydreaming of the future. It is living in the present and feeling true satisfaction. And here’s the kicker: When you have this kind of contentment, supreme joy is attained.

You have to be real careful with your interpretation of contentment, though. For some people, contentment is the way they feel after eating a four-course gourmet meal with wine perfectly paired to each course or after some awesome sex, chocolate—you get the idea. Those types of contentment fall more along the lines of satisfaction. Real honest-to-goodness contentment means just to be as we are without going to food, sex, chocolate, or other “things” for our happiness.

Here are a few ways to practice santosha in your daily life.

  • If something comes, let it come. If not, it doesn’t matter.
  • Practice remaining calm in success and failure.
  • Cut back on energy wasted in thoughts of liking or disliking what is.
  • Practice living mindfully.
  • Ask yourself if you really need that new [fill in the blank] to be content. Seriously, do you really need more “stuff” in your life?

This next little exercise is the hardest one of all for me, but if I could do this each and every day, life would be so much sweeter.

  • Live in the present moment without regretting the past or anticipating the future.

The thing about santosha is that it is a key element in living a spiritual life. If you cannot be happy with yourself and where you are in life, you are going to have a helluva long road ahead on your spiritual journey. Dissatisfaction with life has many horrible symptoms, such as psychic infirmity, complexes, and high blood pressure. I’d rather strive for the symptoms of contentment in life: happiness, peace, and the ultimate…supreme joy.

I’d like to share a little santsosha mantra that I learned in my yoga-teacher training.

I am content.

I am grateful for what I have and for what I do not have.

I learn from the joys and disappointments life brings me.

I honor the good in myself and others.

I refrain from criticism and fault finding.

I accept life just the way it is.

I enjoy life!

So, here’s a toast, a santosha toast, to all my fellow yogis: May you find contentment in your life, stop beating yourself up over the past, let go of fretting about the future, cease the coveting of things you don’t have, be at peace with your life as it is right now, fully present with a heart full of love, and grateful for all you have. Cheers!

Are you a poster child for santosha? Got a great example of santosha in your life? Would love to hear from other members of the santosha fan club!

The website where I found this article:

http://dailydownwarddog.com/words-i-love-santosha/

I love the santosha mantra that the author shares, anyone else??

I have to say that santosha is my favourite niyama and I really enjoyed practicing it the past two weeks.  My group decided that we would take a moment everyday to write down things that we are grateful for.  I found it was an excellent exercise as it made me more aware of how fortunate I am and made me realize that I am already pretty content!  If you have never done this before I suggest you try it for a couple of weeks.  It is amazing seeing everything written down on paper!!  I am going to continue doing this as I really enjoyed it!

Hope this brings some positive energy and new ideas to you today!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Namaste,

Les:)

Come to my free yoga class on Sunday!

Happy Friday Everyone!!  Imagine, we could be doing yoga on the beach??  Sometimes I really wonder why I live in Ottawa when I could live on the beach?!  I think I need to go somewhere hot soon…

Just a reminder that I will be teaching a FREE hatha yoga class on Sunday from 4:30-5:30pm at Rama Lotus.  Bring your mat and a couple friends and don’t be worried if you haven’t done yoga in awhile (or ever), it is a class for all to enjoy!

I am really excited to see everyone there!  Here is the address in case you have never been there before:

Rama Lotus 340 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 0Y8 | Phone: 613.234.7974

Come to the SKY room (top floor of the building right next to the main entrance) and be early as I am starting the class right at 4:30 and wouldn’t want you to miss any of it!

See you on Sunday!

Namaste 😉

Les

 

 

Want to come to my yoga class??

As part of my yoga teacher training one of our assignments is to teach a one hour class on our own time.  So I am going to start looking for a place to hold the class but just wanted to see who would be able to come?  It will be a beginner Hatha class meaning anyone and everyone can do it!

I also wanted to do a survey to find out what day and time works best for people???  If you could please comment on this post or send me a message through the Contact Me page that would be great!  Or you could send me an email or text!

I am thinking the 10-12th weekend in February as I do not have yoga teacher training that weekend.

Remember this class is FREE and led by yours truly so it is guaranteed to be FUN!!!

Tell your friends and family, the more the merrier!  I am excited already!!

Namaste 😉

Les

PS I went to my first (and last) hot yoga class at the Athletic Club.  It was a lovely studio and the teacher was nice but it was sooo boring!  The other reason why I will never go back is because when I tried to sign up to get a membership yesterday they wouldn’t let me because I am a personal trainer?? Like seriously?  Apparently they can do this (I asked my sister who is a lawyer) but I still think it is ridiculous!  Oh well it wasn’t meant to be  🙂 This experience has allowed me to apply one of the yoga principles (or sutras) that we are learning about….

1.33 To preserve the openess of heart and calmness of mind, nuture these attitudes:

Kindness to those who are happy

Compassion for those who are less fortunate

Honour for those who embody noble qualities

Equanimity to those whose actions oppose your values***

**This last one really hit home with me during my visit to the Athletic Club, so instead of getting upset and making a scene when they denied me a membership I decided to have compassion for them and gracefully said ‘ok I understand, that’s too bad but thank you for letting me know”.  This left me with a feeling of calmness instead of raising my blood pressure.  What would you had done in a similar situation??

Here is a quote that fits in nicely with this theme from Martin Luther King Jr,

“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” 

Something to think about…

Have a great weekend!

I still can’t believe Dave and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary this weekend! :):):) YAY!

Les

Start the New Year off with a Personal Challenge!

With a New Year starting tomorrow what better way to start the New Year off with a bang then starting a 30 day challenge?!  Join me in a 30 day nutrition and fitness challenge to ensure your commitment to health and fitness in the New Year.  This challenge will kick start your 2012 and get you on your way to a healthier, happier you…and hopefully it will help you pick up a new habit after the 30 days 😉

Here are some ideas for your 30 day nutrition and/or fitness challenge:

Try running everyday (for at least 30 minutes)-Check out my friend’s blog for more details http://ecinc.wordpress.com/

No alcohol for 30 days

30 days of eating clean (only raw foods-no refined/processed/fast foods)

30 days of fitness (classes/workouts)

30 day yoga challenge (I may try this one!)

Get up early everyday

Cook a new healthy meal everyday

Drink 3 liters of water everyday

Eat more  fruits and vegetables

Eat breakfast everyday (for those of you who don’t already)

Remember chose something that YOU want to do!  I would love to hear your own ideas and experiences from your 30 day challenge!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Les 🙂

What’s your favourite yoga pose??

One of our homework assignments in yoga teacher training this week is to discover what our favourite (and least favourite) pose is. There are quite a few poses that I enjoy but I can narrow it down to two. I LOVE wide legged standing forward fold (or expanded leg pose=prasaritta padottanasana) and any balancing postures (especially Warrior III=Virabhadrasana III). I could stay in these postures for HOURS and I feel amazing when I come out of it. I have a feeling as I continue deepening my practice through my yoga teacher training my favourite poses may change…guess I will have to wait and see.

Here are photos of my favourite poses in case you didn’t know which ones I was talking about…

As I was researching and digging deeper into why I love these particular poses I came across a website called Gaiam Life and it provided me with some wonderful insight. (Here is the link–>http://life.gaiam.com/article/what-does-your-favorite-yoga-pose-say-about-you) I copy and pasted the article below.

Every yogi, no matter how much or how little experience you have with yoga, has one: one particular pose you love above all others. It’s the pose that feels most like home, and the one you keep wishing the teacher would call out next.

Here’s a guide to what a propensity for a certain yoga pose might have to say about you.

Tree Pose

You’re grounded but you enjoy testing your limits. This is often a favorite pose of newer yogis–it’s a first foray into challenging balancing poses and when you nail it, it feels effortless. If you wobble more than you stand still in this pose, focus on feeling your connection to the earth by rooting down through the big toe mound of your standing foot and the sole of the foot that’s pressing in to your inner thigh. If you’re pretty stable here, prioritize lifting your ribcage and fingertips up as high as you can.

Backbends

Whether you’re a wheel junkie or just love lying down with your ribcage draped over a rolled up blanket, a propensity toward backbends indicates an open heart, loving nature, and excitement about the future. Be careful that your exuberance doesn’t lead to injury—if your quads, abdomen, chest and shoulders aren’t open in your backbends, you could tweak your back. Translated to daily life, if you aren’t as flexible as you are strong, you could wind up with too much on your shoulders.

Forward bends

Sitting or standing, a love of folding forward indicates that you are introspective and not afraid to let yourself get quiet so you can hear you own thoughts. Forward bending is also associated with looking to the past—be sure you don’t spend so much time folding forward that you forget to be open to the present or anticipate the future.

Revolved standing poses

You’re not afraid to take a bite out of the cookie of life. You’ve got a lot going on, and yet it all seems to work because you know that it takes a delicate balance of hard work and surrender to keep it all together. Just remember to treat yourself to rest and a quiet practice of restorative poses to keep your batteries charged.

Headstand

You’re interested in building your intuition and learning how to maintain a sense of trust in the face of a scary situation. You’re also not afraid of a challenge. Like handstand fans, you’re open to seeing things from multiple points of view. Your challenge is to learn how to find your center even when your world is turned upside down.

Handstand

You’re a thrill seeker and yet know how to find balance in the midst of chaos. Or, at least, you’re working your way toward it. You also aren’t afraid to look at things from a different vantage point from the average soul. The trick for you is to balance your exuberance with grace, and to learn how to fall softly for those times when your enthusiasm leads you into a precarious position.

Cobbler’s pose, pigeon pose, and/or split pose

You’re not intimidated by a little discomfort and crave the release that comes from working your edges. You also tolerate emotionally charged situations well – the hips are often storehouses for unprocessed emotions, and many people shy away from these poses because they aren’t comfortable with accessing the hidden feelings they may have. Just remember that boundaries are healthy. You don’t want to overextend yourself, making you either overly vulnerable emotionally or prone to muscle pulls physically.

Corpse pose

You are likely tired, over-scheduled, and craving some profound rest. And what’s so wrong about that? Our society may prize people who can keep up a furious pace, but some part of you knows that there’s a time and a place for stillness, quiet, and reflection. Indulge in a few moments of rest each day, always keeping in mind that the true challenge of the pose is to allow your mind to quiet without falling asleep or planning what you’re going to have for dinner.

Pretty cool stuff! And it makes so much sense! So what is YOUR favourite yoga pose? How does it make you feel physically, emotionally and mentally?

I am finding it quite interesting to find out how much yoga relates to our everyday lives. I can’t wait to find out more about myself through yoga (and you should too!)

Namaste

Les 🙂