Thursday, 26 February 2015

Go To Postures

There are a number of yoga postures that seem to be my "go to" poses. Poses that support me in finding peace both physically and emotionally. Well, I thought I would share 3 of my "go to" postures in the hopes you'll give them a try.

This set of postures are great for stretching your calves and hamstrings, while strengthening your knees and relieving tension in your lower back. B.K.S Iyengar says that these postures can help with Sciatica and the discomforts of menstrual cramps.

Supta Padangusthasana  
Supta = Supine, lying down, Pada = foot, Angustha = big toe, Asana = posture

How to do this pose: 
1. Begin lying on your back
2. Place a strap (or something like a strap, neck tie, scarf, belt) on the ball of your right foot
3. Straighten your right leg towards the ceiling
4. Make sure your bottom leg is straight and strong by engaging the muscles of your bottom leg and press your thigh bone down into the floor the whole time you hold this pose.
5. Hold onto either end of the strap with straight arms and heavy shoulders
6. Focus more on getting your legs as straight as you can before you draw your top leg any closer to your chest. Working your legs straight will deepen the stretch and increase flexibility, which will eventually assist in getting your leg closer to your chest, so work with where you are today.
7. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes

 Version 2
1. Starting from where you are in the above picture, gather both sides of the strap in your left hand.
2. Bend your bottom leg and place your foot firmly on the floor.
3. Keeping your top leg straight and strong, draw your right leg across your body to the left side about a foot (keep both hips down on the floor as you do this). 
4. Maintain that as you now cross your left knee to the right side. Your KNEE, NOT YOUR FOOT, your knee to the right. 
5. You will immediately feel a stretch on the outer edges of your hips/legs.
6. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes

Version 3
1. Starting from where you are in the above picture, gather both sides of the strap in your right hand and extend your left arm to the left side for balance.
2. Keeping your top leg straight and strong, draw your right leg to the right and your left knee to the left.
3. Continue to press your top right foot into the strap as you take your leg to the side.
4. Continue to press out through your left knee and down through your left foot with the same weight as you reach out through your right leg.
5. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes.

Once you've finished these 3 postures on the right side, lay for a minute in Savasana (corpse pose) and feel your body. I my experience your right side will feel longer and your hip liberated of tension.

After this repeat on the other side and move on with your day. You can practice these postures at anytime through out your day and week. Enjoy!

With you on this path,
Lauren

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Now


It is a lovely tradition that we have at the end of our lives. To honour those who have passed with words of love, stories of experiences shared, laughter remembered and expressing the loss. The sharing of how these people have touched us, changed us, filled our lives and how we will never be the same.

The question I have is what are we waiting for to fully express ourselves. Quite often after these heartfelt moments you hear conversations about how if the person being honoured could hear, they would love to know how many people they touched, they would be proud to know they left such a mark, if only they knew how many people are here…..

These traditions we have are wonderful, we gather and remember and cry and laugh but at the same time, why wait? We are here now. We are meant to feel and express, to cry together and laugh together and tell each other how we have changed each other. We are here now to tell the ones we love that they are funny and brilliant and important and have forever changed us in ways that no one else could. Life is happening now and its beautiful and amazing and full of people that we love and love us. So I hope this leaves you full of moments where you are able to express your love and open yourself up to receive the love that is given to you.

With Love,
CJ




Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fisherman's life

Yoga is full of stories that can be metaphors for life. Here's a story I heard recently that resonated with me and I know with you too. Enjoy!

Fishing 
We were in a tiny Mexican fishing Village. 
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
"Not very long" they answered in unison.
"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"
The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.
"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives.
 In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.
We have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day.
You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?"

 "With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.
You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!!
From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting,"answered the tourist, laughing.
 "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast,
 sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now.

So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Mexicans.
With you on this path,
Lauren

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Namaste

This beautiful word is used quite commonly now and it is so much more than a greeting. I wanted to share or remind you of the meaning behind the word so the next time you hear it or use it, you will feel the beauty behind the word and may offer or accept it with gratitude knowing what it truly means. We are one. 

Namaste

I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.
When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me,
We are one. 


Namaste,
CJ