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Mastering Arm Balances- Try this!

Arm balances build amazing strength in your arms and core but honestly they are just fun to do. You come out of them typically with a smile on your face thinking to yourself- "I did that!!!"

Try playing around with Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (with a bent front leg) in these steps. Build up to it and take your time. You may not get off the ground on the first time. Learning how to do anything in life takes practice. Arm balances are no different. Remember we don't hop, we lift.

  • Start in plank and bring a knee to a tricep, then lower down to chaturanga. Press back up to plank. Repeat this several times to get comfortable with the shape and to build your strength in the arms. Be sure to try it on both legs!
  • Once that feels easier to do in your body- try to fly! Feel the weight shift into your entire hands, even the fingers. And lift the back leg. Don't forget, core needs to be engaged. Don't hop! (When you hop the back leg you then have to overcompensate for balance and you make it harder on yourself.)
  • Keep trying to fly on each leg, you might be surprised that it's easier to do on one side of the body rather than the other.  
  • Try and hold the shape for several breaths. Then when ready extend the front leg straight. 

You did it!!!!!

The Secret to Better Balance

What is the secret to better balance?
Want to know where you can buy the "magic pill"???

The secret is....
Add balance exercises into your daily life. No need to change clothes or roll our your yoga mat.

Try picking something up from the ground by going for it while doing Ardha Chandrasana (as pictured) or try and hold a Warrior 3 pose while you wait for your food to be heated in the microwave. The best way to practice balance is to do it throughout your day.

Balance is the first thing to go as we age, so think of practicing daily balance exercises like preventive wellness. It's like taking a multivitamin or wearing sunscreen. Once it becomes a part of your daily routine you'll notice that when you do roll out your yoga mat the balance postures in class are much easier to hold.

Join me on Friday June 17th for a special yoga worksop focused on BALANCE. 
Learn yoga poses to help you incorporate balance exercises into your daily life. 
This class is an all-levels class that everyone will enjoy.    

Open Tight Hips

Whether you enjoy long rides on your bicycle or prefer to beat the pavement with your feet by running or if you simply sit at a desk all day, chances are your hips feel achy.

Here is a simple yoga stretch that opens the hips and stretches the hip flexor. 

Begin on your hands and knees and step your right foot forward, shimmy the left knee back so that you are not directly on top of the knee cap. The top of the foot on the back leg should be pressing into the mat. Be sure to keep the front knee directly over the ankle. Now turn the  front foot away from you at an angle (Don't get crazy with it! Just a slight angle is fine!) The front knee should travel in the same direction as the foot. Place the left hand on the mat or drop down onto your forearm as shown in the picture. Use the right hand to gently open up the thigh and allow yourself to roll over on to the side of the foot but be sure to keep the ankle engaged without collapsing. Stay here for several breaths. Be gentle with your body, don't force anything to happen. Breathe into the pose and focus on releasing and letting go.
Don't forget to do the other hip! :)