In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb?
Let's hope March brings warm temperature, mild weather and no more snow. My fingers are crossed, but I have a feeling Mother Nature has more in store for us. We'll keep practising warming poses and relaxation exercises when it's dreary or cold for now and look forward to cooling, chill poses in warmer weather.
We'll also keep practising poses on the yoga boards. I not only have a fun, surfer-style playlist for yoga board classes but the boards have a tendency to warm a person up pretty quickly! It takes work to stay "afloat" on the boards, especially in the legs and abs!
Best of all? Classes are 2 people for $25!
And, for you, all of my favourite people, the playlist I mentioned:
Speaking of Groups...
I've been back at the Kettle & Stony Point Well Being Program since February to work with another outstanding group of ladies. We've been focusing on meditation & relaxation and using poses to release tension. So far, everyone enjoys starting off their week focused and relaxed. Every week, the group grows.
We have a warm, welcoming space to practise in :)
I had a great group from our local Best Buy in for Sunday Yoga at Forge Training Centre. We worked on alignment and balance when transitioning from sunbird/downward dog to lunge. I look forward to seeing them all again for more team building, alignment and focus.
My husband tried out a Personal Yoga Session one quiet Sunday at Forge. He needed to release some tension in his hips and back, so we used poses I learned while at a Yoga for Back Care & Scoliosis course at Yoga Bliss Fitness.
Side lunge hip stretch
On this side, Dennis was experiencing elbow pain, which limited his ability to support himself in the pose. We modified with two blocks under his forearm and the pose was much less difficult for him. His alignment looks excellent here, with his elbow in line with his shoulder and his top arm lined up with the bottom arm.
Modified side lunge hip stretch
Lastly, I'd like to add a note on ujjayi breath, sometimes called "Ocean breath." It can be used all the way through practice, calming the body through poses and into relaxation & meditation. Mark Stephens (author of many yoga teaching manuals) says in his book "Yoga Sequencing" that ujjayi breath is used to warm the body internally and to create a soft mantra-like sound. He notes that the mantra-like sound helps students to develop steadiness while moving energy through the body. He describes ujjayi as a "slow, smooth, lightly audible, conscious breathing through the nose" technique.
To do ujjayi breath, we:
1. Inhale through the nose, open the mouth while lifting/contracting the back of the throat slightly and make a "haa" sound as if fogging a mirror as we exhale.
3. Close the mouth. Breathe through the nostrils only but continue to make the "haa" sound with each inhale and exhale.
5. Repeat step one.
This month, I started a new sequence journal, which I'm excited to fill with new class sequences. Underneath is Mark Stephens' Yoga Sequencing book, which my teacher loaned to me.
See you all again soon,