Monday, September 12, 2011

We Are Moving to!

Thanks for reading thoughts and participating in challenges here. I have upgraded the website and created ways to stay updated on classes. Fresh Yoga Daily will also cover lots more topics on practicing yoga and meditation in the modern world!


Pauline :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Challenge 13 - Asanas for Multitasking

This post is inspired by learning more about the effects of television watching, aka sedentary lifestyle, on health, development, and children. (WebMD, NYT Blog) Children should limit their time watching tv and playing on the computer. But then big kids, aka adults, should too. If you have to watch television then use the time to stretch and work on hard poses. I love watching tv so no guilt for indulging.

Challenge: Move and stretch during your sedentary times.

Application (Stretches) - Seated poses listed:
  • Bound Angle or Cobbler's - bottoms of feet touching and keys to ground (groin & hips)
  • Staff - legs straight out in front and arms straight down side body (hamstrings)
  • Hero - sitting on heels and tuck heels between sit bones (thighs, ankles & hips)
  • Prep for Lotus Pose - one leg straight, other foot crossed over thigh (hips, knees)
  • Seated Pose with Spinal Twist (spine, organs)
Go Above and Beyond: Incorporate any standing pose to strengthen legs
  • Mountain 
  • Low Lunge
  • High Lunge and with Prayer Twist 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Challenge 12 - Asanas for Running

Yoga sequence focused on best benefits for runners or just people who run.

Challenge: Complete the sequence this week the day before or after you go for a run.

  • Bound Angle Pose - opens hips and works inner thighs
  • Downward Facing Dog or Wall Dog (Place your hands against a wall or on a chair) 
  • Triangle Pose - Stretches lower back and hamstrings
  • Forward Bend while grabbing elbow behind you 
  • Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend
  • Low Lunge - opens hips and stretches back hamstring
  • Hero Pose - stretches ankles and feet
  • Corpse Pose or any Pranayama to expand lung capacity

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Challenge 11 - Yoga for Immunity

Being sick is no fun. Nothing can guarantee perfect immunity but do what you can to not feel under the weather. Practice the following sequence to boost your immunity. Benefits of poses relative to health are included.

Challenge - Do Sequence for Health every day this week!
  • Pranayama: Bhramari (Humming Bee)
    • nostril breathing
    • Exhaling plug ears with index fingers and make a humming sound
    • Inhale into the back of the throat
    • Benefits are clearing throat and nasals of infections and soothing the mind
  • Asanas: Hold for 5 breaths each
    • Cat/Cow (optimizes exhale and inhale)
      • Extend opposite arms and legs (quickens breath)
    • Your favorite seated twist pose (compresses organs)
    • Cobra (strengthens respiratory muscles)
    • Downward Facing Dog (circulates blood to sinus) 
    • Mountain with back bend (opens chest and shoulders) 
    • Warrior I & II (increases stamina and incorporates breathing with movement)
    • Bounded Angle (engages gentle backbend, do not go into wheel) 
    • Corpse (relaxes body and breath, bundle up for this pose)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Challenge 10 - Open Your Hips Part I: Pelvis in Neutral Position

Hips are one of the hardest areas to increase range of motion and mobility. The hip joint connects the pelvis and legs so "stretching" out this area requires strengthening the muscles around the joint. Challenges to open hips will be covered in 4 set of poses: (1) Pelvis in neutral position, (2) Strengthening legs, (3) External rotation of hips, and (5) Internal rotation of hips.

What is neutral position for the pelvis? A straight line extends from the ear through the shoulders, hips, and heel. Neutral pelvis is achievable in a seated, standing, and supine positions.

Challenge (Part I): Spend 15 minutes every day in neutral pelvis position and learn to make neutral the default. This is harder than you think!

  • Helps to use a mirror
  • Square and Open Shoulders
  • Relax Shoulders
  • Right and Left sides of pelvis are even, on the same plane
  • Lift the torso from the waist and pelvis to straighten the spine
  • Good alignment should feel "effortless"
Application: Pay attentions to pose details to increase intensity, hold for 20 breaths
  • Lighting Bolt Pose - seated pose on heels, wrap heel with checks
  • Staff Pose - Lefts extended straight forward, fingers press down, push out through heels 
  • Mountain Pose - engaging the legs make the asana more intensity
  • Upward Hand Pose - bring arms over the head from Mountain Pose, engage legs and reach up
  • Warrior I w/ hands over head - focus on ground feet and straightening back leg
  • Warrior II w/ hands over head - align pelvis, focus on opening shoulders
  • Tree Pose - ground and stabilize balancing leg 

Sketch of Yoga News: Spring 2011

Start fidgeting. Magic underwear helping to fight sitting too much. Study shows that incorporating movement into the day helps sedentary people fight weight gain from increased calorie consumption. The take away here is, hitting the gym is not enough, make more movement during the day. Revisit Challenge 2 - Be Active [New York Times]

Eating too much sugar! Article is long but pictures is succinct. Revisit Challenge 4 - Consume Less Sugar [New York Times]

Not every one likes how America does yoga. [Telegraph]

Yoga Teaching is becoming a career trend. [Chicago Tribune]