Why Using a Wall is a Useful Yoga Prop

Yoga Props To Increase The Benefits

Why Using a Wall is a  Useful Yoga Prop

As a yoga therapist, I  have never seen anyone not benefit from the use of a strategically placed yoga prop. Apart from a sticky and reliable yoga mat, the wall itself is a fantastic yoga prop and one of your best teachers for a few reasons:

-it does not lie; when you press into it you feel direct postural feedback of where you are in time and space

-it helps you maintain balance which can deliver you into more self-confidence, and strength

-it helps you maintain alignment and so conserve energy and keeps you safer (because there are healthy ways to stretch and ways that create injury)

-you can stack things against it like yoga blocks, bolsters, yoga chair

-it reminds us to ground, lengthen, align the spine and helps deepen awareness

Sounds pretty great right? right now, while I get to know the ropes here in Jersey City,  I am available for private yoga classes

The belief that using props is cheating or makes things ‘easy’ is ridiculous. Believe me.

Try this variation of a lunge: Come into downward facing dog with your heels up the baseboard of the wall. Step your right foot forward between your hands (you can use blocks). Keep pressing the back heel into the wall, draw your top thighs into the body so your hips are steady, as you lengthen through the spine. 60-90 seconds each side, steady breathing steady alignment

Join me for restorative yoga whether in private or in Jersey City to explore some calming options

wall as yoga prop

wall as yoga prop

 

Do You Breathe Well?

The Breath…Ahhh…

breath as the bridge

“The purpose of pranayama is to make the respiratory system functin at its best.  This automatically improves the circulatory system, without which the processes of digestion and elimination would suffer.  Toxins would accumulate, diseases spread through the body and ill-health becomes habitual” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar,  Light on Pranayama

Do you have  tension in the neck, shoulders and lower back?   Do you complain about headaches, poor sleeping habits, fatigue, stomach aches and high levels of stress ?

Maybe you do not breathe well. Part of a balanced yoga practice frees muscular restrictions which impede healthy breathing. I have some basic breathing practices on my Yoga Mind Cd and am available for private yoga classes to address your particular needs. There are also a few articles I have written online with practices you can check out.

Using Your Yoga Practice To Move From Spirit

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Using Your Yoga Practice To Move From Spirit  is seeing practice as meditation in motion, mindful movement. Sometimes life is full of challenges, and we have to call upon some inner grace to get through it. Relaxation is the antidote to stress, it will help you find that grace..

The lotus flower grows from the bottom of streams and muddy ponds to rise above the water and bloom. At night, it closes and sinks below the water, just to resurface again, untouched the next day, Fully grounded in earth, yet aspiring towards the divine, the lotus flower lives in the muddy water, yet remains unsoiled.

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Time on the yoga mat is meditation in motion, mindful movement.

The “P” in practice can either be “push push push” or “patience patience patience”. Generally I like to tell students to go gradually and navigate a pose, considering where they are at in the present moment, what the cues from their breathing indicate, and what the general physical feedback is telling them. There is a skill to using yoga props that not only makes the asana approachable and possible but also, increases the benefits and your ability to learn how to be peaceful in a challenging situation because you aren’t fighting so hard to maintain alignment etc. If you have never tried Restorative Yoga therapy wow, here too is a most intelligent and awesome way to cultivate safe flexibility and the rest and digest attitude that the nervous system so needs

 

Follow your bliss

Hilarious! As I learn to get around Jersey City, I often think of this cartoon.

The other day I had two navigation systems going and they each chose different routes. Kind of like a yoga practice, different ways to ‘do’ things. My method is to teach skills so each student can find the practice in their own body – we are not all identical. This is what makes a yoga practice ‘therapeutic’… whether you are dealing with anxiety, back pain, knee pain, tight hips… so remember “follow your bliss” :-)bliss

 

yoga and healing

This is a really cool quote about healing; I always equated Yoga with healing – that every posture and facet of the system is there as a tool for transformation. Very different approach from the fitness craze – doesn’t mean that yoga as therapy cannot be endurance and strength building. I challenge you if you think that way to book a private yoga class with me ! People think of yoga props as cheating whereas in fact, a well placed yoga prop can make it way more difficult for you NOT to rely on compensation patterns!

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Pranayama Practice Of The Day

It’s incredible how the breath can give us clues-be a barometer for-what is on our mind. Perfect example, navigating traffic in a foreign place. Not Europe. Jersey City. I just moved here but my GPS is on the fritz and gives me directions that are way off. I noticed how panicky I was and made a conscious effort to slow my breath down. Of course, the first step is always noticing the natural, essential breath and if it is anything but, that is a sure sign you are stressed out.

The photo shows a pranayama called alternate nostril breathing which is also balancing, though more of a formalized practice, not one you can do in your car. Yoga is a practical system and helps us in many ways contend with the daily grind. So when you get up and go don’t forget you are not leaving home without a built in anti-anxiety tool.

 

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Yoga, Healing, and You

Do you believe yoga heals?

Take the test: Get calm: for options click here.  Then, before practice, set an intention. Probably most helpful to identify just one issue on your mind, or in your body. Write it down. check in with it after. Usually, if you have a balanced practice that is right for you there will be some transformation. It is this simple feeling of things changing and getting better, the positivity of it all, that cultivates our sense of healing, which is quite miraculous (yet simple at the same time)

 

Miracles

Yoga and Self Confidence

Ah yes! If you haven’t read my post on mindful shopping – check it out

Yoga builds self-confidence in different ways, especially by getting you to listen inwardly and live authentically but that is just my opinion :-)

This is why I love props  and using yoga therapeutically – when your practice meets your needs you tend to feel more empowered and stronger which feeds emotional strength and self confidence as well…not to mention, when you are calm you care less about things like gossip etc

I am now inspired to start a new hashtag : #liveyouryoga – join me on twitter 

The best thing to wear

Restorative Yoga Therapy Adds Balance To Your Practice

Restorative Yoga Therapy Adds Balance To Your Practice !! I wrote this latest blogpost for the LOLE LOVE BLOG after teaching a Restorative Yoga Therapy Workshop ~ as it happens, I also teach the longer, Teacher Training module for the Leeann Care Yoga School, called : Being: Restorative Yoga Therapy. Check out my teaching schedule for links to the upcoming trainings or contact me to organize something in your yoga studio. It’s all about balance

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