3 Reasons Why Yoga IS a Workout

0001-3063743

Sometimes I hear people say “what else can i do to work out” I say nothing! Yoga is the answer.  It’s all you need. People have this idea that yoga is just revolved around gentle stretches, chants, and meditation. That yoga will only make you flexible and that it can’t make you strong. To that I say join a Power Class, an advanced vinyasa flow; you step onto your mat for 5 minutes and you’re already sweating. Whether it be in a hot room or not, yoga is the perfect way to balance flexibility and strength, inner power and breath, and in some classes, cardio!

Have you ever watched an advanced practitioner? Their control throughout each pose, arm balance, inversion, flexibility and connection to the breath. It’s not easy. I’ve never taken a class where i’ve NOT had to take child’s pose. Yoga is a new form for everyone to discover what their body can do. As well as push the limits.

Here are 3 Reasons why I believe yoga IS the Perfect Workout.

1. Yoga is efficient, effective, and powerful. 

No need to lift weights or buy equipment. You have your own body weight! Taking a power class allows you to strengthen your muscles, build core strength, hold arm balances and many more. Yoga can also count as cardio. Try some sun salutations, vinyasa’s, picking up the pace and allowing the breath to flow with each movement and sequence. I guarantee you will burn more calories than you thought you would.

2. Yoga will help you lose weight, get in shape, and avoid injury. 

Practicing yoga changes your mind, it changes the way you see things and puts them in a different light. Yoga allows you to appreciate your body and love yourself all while giving you the best fuel possible. Practicing Yoga helps you find more awareness throughout the mind and body. Paying attention to any areas that may feel tight and checking in with how the body feels. Yoga puts you in a place where the body feels really good, and once you leave your mat you feel healthy and strong – a better you!

3. Yoga brings Variety, Happiness and Play to your Workout!

The coolest thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere, and it can be different every single day. Feel you need to fire it up? Throw in some arm balances and inversions into your practice. Some Extra Chaturangas. Need to find balance? Throw in some poses balancing on 1 foot. Need the cardio? Sun salutations – keep the body moving.

I am so happy that i found yoga and feel very grateful that i am able to share it with everyone and have the ability to teach and inspire!  If you join me at one of my classes i promise you will leave with a pool of sweat. Feeling strong, happy and most importantly feeling really good.

I’m not saying quit everything else you do, but do know that Yoga can make you strong. As long as you dedicate yourself to practicing daily – i guarantee you will see a major improvement not only in your body, but in your mind.

10 Reasons To Go Upside Down Every Day

0001-61085247

Going upside down may freak you out. But inversions are healthy! An Inversion is any pose where the head is below the heart. While you may immediately think of handstand, headstand, forearm balance etc , there are many other gentler variations and poses you can take. Downward Dog, Forward Fold, Legs up the wall and many more – these are inversions! Being upside down carries many health benefits. But first, do not do inversions if you have any injuries, high blood pressure etc. Please consult your Doctor first.

Here are 10 reasons why you should get upside down every day:

1. Increase Energy – ever feeling a little slump? Get Upside Down. Blood flows to the brain making you more alert!

2. Build Confidence – Try something new! Challenge yourself! Nothing is more rewarding then accomplishing something you thought you never could.

3. Body Awareness – Going upside down builds body awareness. You are aware of the mechanics and what every muscle feels like. We allow our sight to guide us as we develop a deeper awareness.

4. Strength – Finding Stability in oneself. Your arms become stronger, your more aware of your core, every muscle is working. Inversions allow you to find a different idea of strength, of balance and endurance – which are all essential in not only your practice, but your life.

5. Breath Control – Stress makes our breathing go very fast. When we are upside down, we need to control the breath. Every inhale and exhale is important – and inversions help you to come back to the breath!

6. Inversions are fun! – yes they are. Get over your fear. Bring out your inner child and play. Be light hearted and enjoy wherever your practice takes you.

7. Prevent Illness and Strengthen Immune System – going upside down releases toxins and build up of bacteria. You are moving everything in a different direction which helps for better circulation.

8. Reducing Anxiety – Hello, endorphins! Inversions may help stimulate the CSF Fluid that is the lifeblood of the central nervous system. Inversions can have a calming affect on the brain!

9. Relaxation – While some inversion poses help to energize, others work to calm the nervous system. Try shoulder stand or legs up the wall for a restorative feeling of balance.

10. Change Your Perspective – this is so empowering. Mix things up, once you see the world from a different angle, you are more open to see other situations, people and problems the very same way. There is always a new way of looking at things!

Now go get upside down!

Let Go of the Ego and Take Childs Pose

childsposeblog

It’s ok to take breaks. It’s okay to stop and pause. It’s okay to take a child’s pose in your yoga practice.

Too often we get caught up in our ego. We need to push ourselves, keep going, succeeding. And while this is all good, sometimes we forget to stop and breathe. It’s funny how that works. Our idea of happiness is too always take the “most advanced version of the pose” or if we take a child’s pose that is considered giving up. Why does that have to be the case?

Why can’t we just take a break? A breather? A moment to pause and reflect. We all know life isn’t a competition, so why do we have to make our yoga practice one?

To tell you the truth, i was one of those students. I didn’t like taking a child’s pose because to me that meant i was weak. When i look back at it now i just laugh at myself and say you were crazy.

We need to stop trying to be the best at everything. Sure, maybe there are those days where we don’t need a childs pose. But i promise you if you just take one for a moment, this does not mean you are giving up. You are inviting more freedom to your practice. Rest is good. Reconnecting is even better. So take the damn child’s pose.

Remember these 3 things the next time you step onto your mat:

1. Taking Child’s Pose does not mean you are giving up.
2. Childs Pose is the perfect opportunity to reconnect, relax and come back to your breath.
3. Child’s Pose feels good. So who are we kidding?

No Bake – Nut Free – SunButter Balls

These are the easiest no-bake sun butter & oat balls you will ever make! They are a really good snack and nice to have for a pre workout! I am allergic to nuts, so for me to find a a nut-free Snack is sometimes challenging. Until I found SunButter!

sunbutterballrecipe2

Makes 6-8 Balls.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oats uncooked
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
3 tbsp sun butter (or peanut butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt (or salt)
Dash of cinnamon
As many dark chocolate chips as you like!
I like to add some raisins as well!

Instructions

1. Add the oats, honey, sun butter, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon into your bowl.
2. Stir it up!
3. Add in chocolate chips last. Then Raisins if you like.
Measure out and roll into a ball.
Place onto parchment paper and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

You can eat them right away – they are amazing. Or allow them to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the ingredients to stay together.

Enjoy!

sunbutterballrecipe

Power up your Practice with this 3 Part Core Series

kneetonoseheader

Burn more calories, add power to your yoga practice, boost metabolism, and have fun doing it! This 3-part series is the perfect pick-me-up between each yoga sequence.

1. Start off in Downward Dog. Pick your right leg up into the air. Square off your hip. Reach through your toes.

2. Right knee draws down the midline. Knee-to-Nose. Shoulders over the wrists. Round your back. Engage your core. Can you kiss your knee? Inhale back to One Legged Dog.

3. Exhale take your right knee to your right tricep. Can you get your knee above your elbow? Lift your hips. Gaze Forward. Inhale back to One Legged Dog.

4. Exhale take your right knee to your left tricep and twist. Can you get your knee about your elbow? Sit bones up. Inhale back to One Legged Dog.

Repeat on Opposite Side!

kneetonosespenser

3 Simple Ways To Get More Out Of Your Yoga Practice

3simplewayspic

1. Breathe

Throughout my class I always say, “Come back to the breath”. It sounds so simple but I think we often forget to do it. Our breath is what guides us through our practice, throughout each pose and essentially what keeps us going when we step off our mat. Whenever you find yourself stuck or lost in your practice – come back to the breath – simply by inhaling and exhaling you bring a lot more peace and stillness to your practice.

2. Stop

Sometimes we get frustrated in our Yoga practice. Whether it be how we can’t get into an advanced pose, how we wish we didn’t have to take a child’s pose, were too tired; whatever it may be and we beat ourselves up for it. This means our body is telling us to slow down. Some days during my practice I don’t necessarily need to “take a break” but just to stop. Stop and pause. Reconnect. Breathe. Sometimes pausing will allow you to get deeper into not only the physical practice but the mental and spiritual one as well.

3. Love Your Practice, Love Yourself

When I started yoga, I loved the practice, but I didn’t love my personal practice. I always thought I was doing something wrong, I’m not good enough, I kept having to take a break… etc. Now I look back and laugh. I wish I knew what I know now. I always say “wherever you are in your practice today, is exactly where you are supposed to be” Yeah… this may mean a train wreck, this may mean a perfect flow. It doesn’t matter. Love where your body takes you. Love what you can and can’t do. Strength doesn’t come from the things you can do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. And maybe you haven’t mastered your favourite advanced pose yet. But just Practice, Improve, Grow, Learn and Love where you are.

Yoga isn’t supposed to be so serious. Yoga is supposed to be a journey. Smile throughout it. When we fall over in the balancing poses or when we can’t hold plank for too long because it burns. Instead of getting frustrated, smile. Laugh at yourself. “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” -Michael Jordan

Let yoga inspire you to be your own inspiration.

Chaturanga Tips & Short Tutorial

Not to scare you, but Chaturanga is HARD. It presents different challenges to different body types. It is the pose we can do over and over again incorrectly. So Please take these adjustments to your chaturanga to avoid injury.

Start from High Plank High Pushup.
Shoulders are stacked over the wrists.
Lower ribs are tucked and fore is engaged.
Thighs pushing up, Heals pushing back.
Begin to Lower to Your Chaturanga.

Chaturanga strengthens the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back. It prepares the body for more advanced arm balances. Stay focused on your alignment and the action. Practice Practice Practice. Enjoy, Feel Good, and Let the Breath Guide You!

chaturangatutorial

Detox Yoga Sequence

Detox Yoga Sequence

These poses are put together to stimulate the passage of toxins! Twist, Fold and sweat – yoga detox will clean out toxins, lower stress, and unclog anything that has built up. Remember you’re not only cleansing the body, but the mind as well. Here are a few poses if you are short on time or feel like you need to give your body a quick detox rinse. Enjoy, Feel Good, and Let the Breath Guide You!

detoxyogasequence

06/20/14

It’s quite an amazing feeling when you become proud of yourself. Proud of where you are now, and excited to see where you’ll be in 5 years. Today I finally nailed my downward dog pike to handstand. Arm Balances are easier. Transitions are more fun. I feel great. I feel happy. I feel gratitude.

maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.