4 YOGA POSES TO MASTER THIS SUMMER

During the summer, it feels like plans are never ending and a new invite pops up on your calendar every day! Although we usually think of summer as a season of relaxation, these months can get pretty busy – sometimes to the point where you actually have to set aside time for yourself. We love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person, but we’ve also discovered that there are more productive options if you need to de-stress… and, surprise!, you won’t end up feeling like a couch potato after. One of our favorite ways to unwind is by getting active, whether that means taking a walk outside, lifting weights in the gym or hitting the mat for some yoga. Active movement helps to clear your mind and strengthen your body. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your athleisure #AEOSTYLE! Today, we’re grabbing our yoga mats and breaking down four yoga poses to master this summer.

CRESCENT LUNGE (Anjaneyasana):
Alignment Tips: Make sure you’re on the ball of your back foot and that your hips are square. Sometimes it helps to put your hands on your hips and psychically align them so that they’re facing the front wall. Keep your back heel firm on the floor and the back leg strong as if you were trying to touch the back of your knee to the ceiling. To your own degree, bend your front knee as close to 90 degrees as possible. Reach your arms overheard and breath deep.

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors & legs; strengthens thighs and glutes; opens chest; improves balance

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

DANCER (Natarajasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep a slight bend in your standing leg & shift weight on to this leg. Bend your back leg up to your degree slowly, simultaneously catching your foot or ankle with one or both hands if possible. You can reach one arm in front to help your balance. Keep your neck long and head high.

Benefits: Improves balance; strengthens legs and core; stretches shoulders and chest

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep your shin on the ground parallel to your mat to protect the knee. Slightly angle your back hip and from a straight leg, bend the back leg up. Catch the ankle or foot with one or both hands, or rest it in your arm as seen below. If you cannot reach back or bend the leg up, that’s fine! support yourself upright using both arms in front.

Benefits: Stretches thighs, chest and shoulders; stimulates abdomen & internal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON II (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II):
Alignment Tips: Start with shins on the floor and core reaching high. Slowly backbend to your degree and catch one leg within your arm as your raise it. Reach the other arm toward the ceiling and breathe. If you need back support, bring your lower hand to your lower back and breathe.

Benefits: Stretches torso and deep hip flexors; improves posture; strengthens back; stimulates abdominal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

4 Key Beginner Yoga Poses For Men

If you’re a guy, it’s easy to find yoga intimidating. This feeling is understandable. As a gender, there’s a cultural push to make us work out hard, compete, and do sports that tighten us up instead of loosen us up.

 

Sometimes, we’re intimidated because of neglect. In this little article, I’m going to make your entrance into yoga and your body quick and transformative!

These 4 key yoga poses for men will help you ease into a practice and ease into your body. Although they are relatively simple, they are deeply therapeutic as well as strength building. They will also work miracles for your flexibility. You can master them in the privacy of your living room AND I’ve set it up so you can do it all in 10 minutes at day! Check these out!

 

. Child’s Pose

man in Child's PoseThis pose is a low back saver and is the hunch reducer. Do it for your posture, do it for your pain, and do it because it feels so good.

Benefits: Child’s Pose lengthens the spine, assists the relief of lower back pain, and stretches your knees.

How to do it:

  • Kneel with your knees open shoulder-distance, with your toes touching.
  • Place your forehead on the floor.
  • Walk your hands forward with fanned fingers OR move hands behind you on the floor alongside your body.
  • Stay in this pose for 15 deep breaths through the nose.

High Lunge

Man in High Lunge

Here is a wonderful pose for runners and couch potatoes alike.

Benefits: High Lunge resurrects your leg strength and flexibility and fine tunes your core strength and balance. It’s also great for stretching muscles of the feet and toes.

How to do it:

  • Set up like a sprinter with your finger tips on the floor on either side of your lead foot. Your back foot has it’s toes curled under as if you’re going to run a race.
  • Alignment is key. Your front knee should be above your ankle and shouldn’t waver to the left or right. Keep that knee in line with your 2nd toe.
  • Your front thigh should be flat like a table and your butt is in line with that front knee. That means you may have to step back a few inches to get that thigh flat! If that’s difficult you may have to prop your hands up on books (or yoga blocks) or go high on your finger tips.
  • Press firmly through the back heal and look forward to lengthen your spine.
  • As this gets easier, transition from 5 fingers of a tented hand to 3 fingers, then one finger, and then, perhaps, shooting your hands behind you in the air or out to the side so your body looks like a cross.
  • Always draw the tummy in and try to lengthen your spine.
  • Breathe as deep as you can and see if you can stay for 5 to 20 breaths.

Crescent Pose

Man in Crescent Pose

Crescent is similar to the high lunge, but it refines more subtle strength and balance throughout the body, especially in the core and the legs.

Benefits: This pose goes deep into the hip flexors for extra strength and flexibility. It also strengthens and stretches the front of the legs.

How to do it:

  • Set up in the high lunge as above, but now the arms will reach straight in the air.
  • The torso is at “attention” and is straight with no back bend in the spine. Rooting down through the tail bone, draw the tummy in and try to gain length in the spine growing through the side ribs.
  • Stay here for 5 to 20 breaths.

Yogic Squat

Man in Squat

In India, they have chai and conversations sitting in a squat. Three quarters of the world goes to the toilet like this, and many ladies give birth like this. Most Westerners, however, have lost the ability to do a decent squat. Not good.

Benefits: This pose provides huge benefits for rehabilitating the flexibility in legs and knees. It also relieves constipation.

How to do it:

  • Feet should be shoulder-distance apart. Bend your knees so that your butt is as low as it can go without hitting the floor.
  • Try to get your heels flat. If this is impossible, curl up a towel or yoga mat to give you “ high heels.”
  • In your Squat, sit up tall with your hands in prayer on your heart with elbows pressing into the knees. For a variation, you can place hands on back of skull, drop head, and tuck chin into throat.
Start with these 4 tested and approved postures for only 10 minutes a day using deep breathing as you hold them. You will be amazed at how these poses will lead to small changes and transform your body in major ways.

Spring Detox Yoga Flow

Spring has arrived and many of us are ready for some spring-cleaning not just for our homes but for our minds and bodies as well.

Spring is the perfect time of the year to clean our closets, clear out things we not longer use so we have room for new things to come. Spring is the ideal time to renew and to cleanse our bodies too.

Our bodies have a natural of getting rid of waste products, but sometimes it needs help to boost eliminating these products.

I invite you to try these simple yoga detox practice that can help your body cleanse itself.

In addition, you can try a all natural 3-5 day juice detox along with yoga practices (I suggest mixing active with some restorative practices) to receive a maximum cleansing process and enjoy the benefits of your efforts. This combination will help you feel more energized, lighter and healthier.

While cleansing, fasting and detox practices may not be for everyone, anyone can benefit from a yoga detox program. Especially if you’ve been feeling sluggish or are experiencing digestion problems, have a lack of stamina, poor concentration, aches and pains, or skin problems.

So are you ready to flow, sweat, play and detox with this short but effective flow?

Start by sitting in a comfortable position… Please keep in mind that you can add any vinyasa of your choice to move between poses:

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Seated Twist:

Inhale and lift arms up and interlace your fingers while rotating your palms up to the sky. As you exhale rotate your torso to one side. Be mindful that your hips don’t twist with you. You want the twist to come from your spine without the assistance of your hips. Inhale center and exhale to the other side. Repeat few more times on each side.

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Cat/ Cow with Simhasa Breath:

Come to hands and knees (aka table top). For this practice we will reverse the breath so as you inhale round the spine and as you exhale arch your back and stick your tongue out as you exhale through your mouth.

This type of breathing is very cleansing and relieves tension in the chest and face. According to traditional texts, Simhasana destroys disease and facilitates the three major bandhas (Mula, Jalandhara, Uddiyana).

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Surya Namaskar/ Sun Salutations “A” and “B”:

Moving through few rounds  each of these wonderful namaskars will help you generate internal heat while coordinating breath and movement.

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Navasana (Boat Pose):

Great core work to build core strength and heat in your body. When we work our core we are also activating our digestive and elimination system. Practice this pose 3 times holding it each time for 5 full breaths. To rest between each cycle you can bring the soles of the feet together and fold forward into Baddha Konasana.

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Parivritta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose):

From chair pose or Utkatasana, bring your hands to heart center and exhale twist to one side. Bring the elbow to the outside of the thigh as you press the palms together to help you twist form the spine. Make sure that your knees are even and one is not forward of the other. This will indicate that you are collapsing on one hip and the twist is not coming from the spine. In addition your hips should be lower than shoulders. Hold for 5 full breaths before going to the other side. Finish by folding over your legs in Uttanasana or standing forward fold.

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Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1):

From down dog bring one leg forward placing your foot between your hands. On the inhalation lift the chest and arms up. Make sure your front knee is over your ankle and that your back leg is active and strong. Extend the arms up to the sky and hold for 5 breaths.

parsvottanasana

Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Pose:

From Warrior 1 extend the front leg and as you exhale fold over the leg bringing the hands to the earth. Keep the hips even or leveled as you create lighten in the spine. Anchor the big toe mound on the mat and you engage your quads to protect the knee from hyper extending or locking as you stretch your hamstrings.

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Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle):

This is another twisting pose that will not only activate your internal organs but will help you cleanse from the inside out. It is like a wet towel that you ring out as you twist it. You can add a connecting vinyasa to do the other side. After completing both sides come to a sited position.

 

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Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold):

Extend both legs forward. You can sit on top of a folded blanket, grab a strap and/or bend your knees slightly if you feel you hips are rolling back (posterior tilt) and/or your hamstrings are tight. Exhale fold over your legs while elongating the spine. Imagine you are trying to reach your feet with the crown of your head. Hold for few breaths. Forward Bends compress the abdominal organs and the kidneys and liver are stimulated. They help improve the digestive system and activate the elimination process as well.

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Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose):

Lie down on your back, bend your knees and draw feet towards your butt. Draw shoulder blades towards each other and as you inhale lift hips up while pressing down on your feet. Keep feet hip width apart and parallel to each other while keeping the toes pointed forward. Hold for few breaths then lower hips down one vertebrae at the time. You can let the knees drop to one side then to the other few times to release any tension in the spine

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Apanasana (Wind Relieving Pose): Bring both knees to the chest and cross your arm over or under your legs and give your self a big hug. If you like you can lift your head towards your knees and the lower head back down keeping shoulders relaxed and neck long. Hold for few breaths and the release.

viparita-karani-supportive

Viparita Karani or Legs up The Wall:

For this pose you will need a blanket or bolster against the wall. Start with your support about 5 to 6 inches away from the wall specially if you know your hamstring are tight or closer if you know they wont be an issue. Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support a few inches, tuck the support a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again. Extend the legs up towards the ceiling. Open your arms out to the side palms up while letting your shoulder blades move away from the spine.

Stay in this pose anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. To come out, slide off the support onto the floor before turning to the side and then to sitting.

Pause for few breaths in here before continuing with your day.

Drink plenty of water to help your body continue with the cleansing process.

A great way to start your day with YOGA!

A great way to start your day with YOGA!

8 reasons why yoga is so good for you:

1. Lowers stress and improves your mood
Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques to focus the mind on your breathing that quietens the constant ‘mind chatter’, relieves stress and allows you to feel relaxed. Practising yoga can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.
2. Boosts confidence
Aside from the uplifting spiritual values, the act of meditation can actually boost your confidence. The process works by releasing tension from your mind so you can feel confident about your physical body. Without any forms of anxiety, you are able to establish an internal connection with yourself. This is consequently reflected in your perception of others and will help to better your relationships by improving compassion and awareness.
3. Lowers the risk of injury
Exercise, such as running, is usually a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise also engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups whereas yoga concentrates on balancing this activity. Yoga unites your body and mind and therefore allows you to move in a way that results in an injury free, healthier you.
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4. Helps you lose weight
Being overweight is a sign that there are imbalances in your everyday life and one major contributor to weight gain is excess stress. Practising yoga enables you to bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind, helping you to de-stress and allowing you to lose weight naturally.
5. Increases flexibility
People often say that they are not flexible enough to do yoga. The truth is it doesn’t matter how tight your muscles are as yoga asana works by safely stretching your muscles and help you to practise it further. Moreover yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.
6. Improves muscle tone and strength
Many yoga asana have a profound effect on your upper body strength, such as the downward and upward dog and the plank focuses on your core. Likewise standing poses strengthen your upper leg muscles and lower back. Essentially any pose will strengthen an area of the body if it is practised in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups.
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7. Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure
If you are to practise yoga consistently, your lung capacity will increase as a result of the deep breathing process. This will then have a positive effect on more intense sports that you might be a part of, increasing your stamina and endurance. Furthermore, meditation and calming yoga asana slow down your heart rate which in turn lowers blood pressure and have also been linked with improving the immune system and lowering cholesterol.
8. Improves your posture
By practising yoga you maintain a healthier weight, become more flexible and improve your muscle tone and strength. You will find that your posture will greatly improve because of this. Your abdominals and back muscles can now fully support your weight and you will be able to sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains

Chiropractic care and Yoga can complement each other and help to build a strong, stable spine.  Chiropractic works by addressing underlying spinal conditions, and Yoga can be a wonderful and gentle way to build core strength, stabilising the muscles around the lower back.

Combining Chiropractic care with Yoga can increase stability, flexibility and lead to greater body function.

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Natural Remedies For Slim Thighs And Hips

1. Water:

We’ve been told repeatedly about how water is great for the body, skin and more. It can help flush out toxins, helps you stay at your optimum levels and even clears out your acne! You must drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, and ensure you begin your day with a glass of water and end it with one. Consume fruits and vegetables with high water content as the liver requires water to convert fat into energy and also to boost your metabolism. According to research, water increases metabolic rate and accelerates weight loss when consumed with a low calorie diet.

2. Yoga:

Yoga is the best form of exercise, to lose weight, burn fat and stay healthy. However, regular practice is required to perfect the asanas. Yoga also tones the muscles and keeps
the skin firm. Practice the Cobbler’s pose and the bridge pose, which target the hips and thighs.

3. Cardio and strength training:

We all know it, but still fail to follow this. A disciplined exercise regime can give you a sculpted body. For cardio, you can get on the treadmill or the stationary bike. For strength
training, include squats and curls to target the hips and thighs.

4. Coconut oil massage:

The nutrients in coconut oil strengthen the skin tissue and also help you lose extra fat from the body. Coconut oil also increases your metabolism, and lowers cholesterol levels. Massage the hips and thighs with coconut oil for about 10 minutes daily. The fatty acids in coconut oil get absorbed in the body and get converted into energy.

5. Apple cider vinegar:

ACV helps flush out the toxins from the body, assists in the breakdown of fat and also controls the amount of glucose released in your body after you eat.  So, mix 3 parts of raw apple cider vinegar with 1 part of olive or coconut oil. Massage and leave for 30 minutes.
Do this twice a day.