Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pigeon Variations Part 3. Do the twist.

Relaxing in your pigeon pose? Now, wanna make it harder? If you have flexible, open hips and want to go further, this is for you. If you LOVE twisting, this is for you. If you don't have flexible hips and just started doing yoga...maybe hold off on this -don't worry, you will get there in time.

First follow the last post on pigeon to get to your nice relaxing place. Right foot/leg is forward, left leg is elongated behind you, pushing the top of the left foot into the mat, and folded forward over and past your right leg, forehead resting on the floor or on a block or stacked fists. Breathe it out.

1. Come up to your forearms, press palms and forearms down as you pull your shoulders back and down. Chest forward. Think sphinx or baby cobra upper back.
2. Take your left arm and thread it under your right arm. Bring your left shoulder all the way to the floor. Side of your face and head should be resting on the floor. You can prop a blanket under the side of your head if needed, especially if its your first time twisting.
3. Take your right arm, and reach it behind and around you and either find your left hip or hold onto your right foot. Inhale deep into the back and around the kidneys, exhale let it all go.

Want to go further?
4. Bend your left knee towards your butt.
5. Left shoulder still on the floor, now left hand reaches for the left foot. Yeah, you're gonna feel that. Breathe with a slow exhale.
6. Take the tip of your tongue against the roof of the mouth behind your 2 front teeth, relax your jaw.

Next post; half pigeon bind, full pigeon bind and the choke hold.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yoga Scams

Dear Yoga teachers,
There have been a bunch of Yoga scams going on lately. Funny because the first one I actually thought was someone I knew who is just crazy and kind of a jerk pulling some sort of manipulative game on me. So, I actually wrote back waiting to see what he would do...then went on Yoga Alliance and found out he was an actual Yoga scammer! Just got another one today. Anyways...be on the look out for:


Or anyone else asking for privates and wanting to send you fake money orders.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pigeon Variations Part 2.

I used to hate pigeon pose because my leg would go numb. I remember my teacher saying "Hold for 8 breaths". That 8 breaths would feel like ETERNITY. I always felt so antsy and I couldn't relax in the pose. After having a consistent practice for a long time, pigeon became my FAVORITE pose. Weird how things turn out that way, yeah? Because I love it so much here are all the variations of it that I like doing:

How to get into pigeon pose.
1. From downward facing dog, lift your right leg up into the air in a 3 legged dog. As you exhale bring your right knee forward towards your nose as you come forward into a plank.
2. Place your right knee behind your right wrist. Flex your right foot a lot. Try to get your right ankle behind your left wrist so that your right shin is parallel to the front of your mat -p.s. its not likely it will actually be that parallel but you get it.
3. Now, look back at your left leg, it should be coming straight out of your left hip behind you. You don't want it to be crooked. Also, check to make sure your left foot is straight, top of the left foot should be pressing into the mat, with pressure on your big toe and second toe, you will feel a stretch in your left hip here.
4. Walk your hands by your hips and stack shoulders above hips. Square your hips a lot, and flex your right foot a lot. You can place a blanket or block under your right hip if you feel you need some extra support. Option: interlace your hands behind your back and press your palms together to open up your chest.
5. Walk the hands forward in front of you. Option: take a pause when you're on your forearms. Take them into a sphinx position and pull your chest slightly forward, as your chest pulls back, shoulder blades stay on the back. Flex the right foot more. Now walk the hands more forward as far as you can comfortably go. Options: rest your forehead on the floor if it feels good to go down that far and reach your arms forward. OR rest your forehead on a block or stack fists and rest your forehead there.
6. Stay here for 8 breathes. Keep flexing your right foot but relax everything else. Think savasana. All your muscles are melting into the floor except your right foot is flexing and your right shin is pushing into the mat. Breathe and repeat on the other side.

Next post will cover half pigeon and full pigeon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You can always go deeper

What I've learned from my Yoga teacher is, no matter how long you've been practicing, or how far you think you've gone...you can always go deeper.

I worked for about a year to get my first pigeon half bind and then another year to get full pigeon. I didn't think there was anything after that and have been comfortably struggling to get my full pigeon better. Last week upon my return from vacation I was surprised when my teacher told me to go deeper. I am sitting there already shaking from being out of practice for 2 weeks and just barely holding a full pigeon. I didn't even know what deeper meant.

Behold, the pigeon choke hold. What is it called in sanskrit? I have no idea...is this a real pose or did my teacher come up with this to torture us? This could be the case...Today in class in this particular pose I actually brought my elbow all the way down to my chest. It feels pretty insane. Break down of getting into pigeon, full pigeon and choke hold pigeon will be coming soon! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just when you thought you could relax

In your King Pigeon pose...stay tuned for the "choke hold" kapotanasana.


Germany for 2 weeks was a good long break for me. As a New Yorker, any vacation over 5 days is pretty long. Although I packed my jump rope and vowed to practice Yoga every day..that really only lasted the first 4 days. However, the rest of the time was a much needed break from over-training. This post is dedicated to over-training because I am constantly around people who are always over-training, including myself. When I teach Yoga I am constantly reminding Yogi's in class to check in with their bodies. Don't go into a full back bend if your body doesn't want to do it. There is no reason to push yourself into an injury. And some of you..you're addicted to over-training so...please, REST!

You know you're over-training when:
1. You have a nagging injury that is just not going away...because you can't stop training. Stop now before it becomes something serious!

2. You're actually getting weaker and your definition is losing its form. You can't complete workouts in which you normally could and you're suddenly not just plateauing but now you're starting to lose muscle mass.

3. You're tired and fatigued no matter how much sleep you're getting

4. You forget what its like to not feel sore.

5. You're joints and bones are starting to feel sore

6. You're nagging injury is actually starting to make you feel depressed.

In conclusion, don't let this be you. Take a day off! Just one won't kill you. :) You're body will thank you for it. Because if you don't take care of your body you will lose the ability to do all the crazy rigorous physical activity you're obsessed doing, right?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Major Hiatus

I wish I could say I came back from vacation with words of wisdom or some new ideas but I really have not.

Here are some small thoughts I've come up with...