How often does your resolve to do your yoga pr…

How often does your resolve to do your yoga practice wobble like a new yogi in pretzel position?  A question that I am most often asked by students is, “Corinne, how do you keep up the discipline to practice?”  Or they come into class exasperated.  “When I practice at home, the phone rings, I
remember the laundry I have to do!”

Here are some tips to keep your practice
going even when you don’t want to do it.
(Sorry, but there’s always a way.)

  • Work it into your day in little ways, with
    Yoga Snacks. Five minutes here, 2 minutes there.  It all adds up.
  • Start with some of your favourite yoga
    poses.  That can get you there by helping
    you look forward to it.
  • If you just feel to awful to actually get
    started with your practice, remind yourself that, as bad as you feel now, is
    how great you’re going to feel after your done.
  • Get into your practice by telling yourself
    you’ll do ‘just one pose or two and then I’ll see how I feel’.
  • When you’ve actually managed to start your
    routine but are tempted to go off and do something else, tell yourself you’ll
    do ‘just one more pose’.
  • Notice how good it feels after the poses
    you do manage to do.  That will keep you
    coming back.
  • If boredom is an issue, OK, then turn on
    the TV or the radio.  It’s better than
    not practising at all.
  • Try using music to carry you along.   Music has a way of sweeping us forward and
    keeping us moving.
  • Go to yoga class.  Let the teacher move you along.  Once you’re there, there is no escape!
  • Sometimes the best way to eliminate
    temptation is to give in to it.  If your
    laundry is calling you and your just can’t keep on your yoga mat, then, for
    heaven sake, go take care of the laundry and come right back!

When all else fails, just do your yoga.  You’ll be glad you did.

 Namaste,
Corinne

My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
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Namaste,Corinne My yoga books and…

Namaste,
Corinne

My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
Kobo.
Here’s my shop on
Etsy.
You might also like my personalized yoga items on
Zazzle

Better Balance and Body Awareness Using Planes…

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Planes of
Movement
If you recall, yoga movements
are done in certain, specific directions.
For example, forward bends are done directly forward, (along the
red slice in this picture);  back bends
go directly back, (along the red slice, also); side bends go directly
to the sides, (along the green slice); and so on.  Very few movements take you out of those
“planes of movement”.  When they do, it’s
usually because they are actually a combination of movements, through several
planes.  

Looking at the picture above, movements in the different coloured zones invite you to do the following:

  • Red Zone: Directly forward or backward
  • Green Zone:  Directly to the side.
  • Blue Zone: Directly up and down.

Practising moving along planes of movement gives you the chance to develop better alignment and a stronger connection to you body.  

We can use our recent mini routine of Wood Chopper, Lunge, Puppy and Cat to practise this.  

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When in the Wood Chopper
Move directly backward into the back bend.  Keep some attention on your feet and on
having your weight evenly spread through the “Golden Triangle”.  

When coming out of the back
bend, moving directly up and forward, using the Red Zone.  It’s easier to make this happen if you keep
your weight even on your feet, left to right and front to back, spread through
that “golden triangle”.  

Going from the Wood Chopper into the Lunge
Keep your weight even throughout your
hands and ‘front foot’ (the
foot that will not be moving).  Keep some
attention on the front foot, having the weight there spread through the “Golden
Triangle”; feeling the weight sink into the floor through that foot.

Swing one leg directly back, following
the Red Zone.  Even if you have to redirect your movement,
momentarily, to get around some body parts, return to the Red Zone to place the
foot to the floor.  Then, as your foot
settles, have your weight evenly spread between both feet and both hands.

In the Lunge
When you sink down, sink directly downward, as if
your body is on a elevator, (that’s the Blue Zone)  Again, it’s easier to make this happen if you keep your weight even on your feet,
spread through that “golden triangle”.  

When going from the Lunge to
the Puppy
Once
again, swing your remaining front leg directly back. Sink directly downward onto your knees.  Then, as your weight settles, have your weight evenly spread between booth knees and both hands.

Slide backward into the Puppy, moving the center of your body directly down an imaginary center line between the left and right sides of your body.  

This line is actually the Red Zone in the Planes of Movement picture.  You are drawing your hips up and back along this red zone.

Sweeping Forward into Cat

  • Sweep directly forward, retracing a path along the imaginary center line.
  • Once your head is in line with your hands, press into the floor and lift directly upward into the arch of Cat pose.  

Returning to the Lunge
From the arch of Cat pose, lift your knees.

  • Keep you weight even in your hands.  
  • Swing one leg directly directly forward,
    parallel to the Red Zone.  If you have to
    swing around some body parts, finish by returning to the Red Zone.
  • Then plant
    your foot near your hands.  
  • As you settle
    into position, have your weight even between your hands and feet.  

Returning
to the Wood Chopper
Keep your weight even in your hands and front foot as
you back foot swings forward.  

Returning Upright
Keep you attention on your feet, having your weight
evenly spread throughout each foot.

Namaste,
Corinne

My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
Kobo.
Here’s my shop on
Etsy.
You might also like my personalized yoga items on
Zazzle

Energizing mini routine using Wood Chopper, Lu…

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These four movements combine into a flowing sequences that fully stretches your body and opens up your breathing.  It’s very energizing when combined with Extending the Breath breathing strategy:

Alternate breathing in and breathing out.  Usually this will match opening up (breathing in) and closing down movements (breathing out).

  • Every time you breathe in, take a little extra breath in.  Use that to seek out a little extra stretch.
  • Every time you breathe out, take the time let out a little extra air.  Use that to seek out a little extra stretch.

Here are the links to instructions for these four poses:
Wood Chopper:  http://tinyurl.com/h6vwoky
Lunges:  fhttp://tinyurl.com/j3lhlpp
Puppy:  http://tinyurl.com/j7n43d8
Cat
Stretch:  
http://tinyurl.com/zc23cyj

As always, when learning a new pose, it’s a good idea to set aside time separate from the rest of your yoga practice.  Then, as you become confident in the movements and modifications that make it right for you, you can combine them.  

It can take practice to get a sense of flow.

Namaste,
Corinne

My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
Kobo.
Here’s my shop on
Etsy.
You might also like my personalized yoga items on
Zazzle

Lunge Pose – Detailed Instruction

Here are tips, modifications and breathing for this highly adaptable pose.  It shows up as part of so many routines, for yoga and for many sports.  How to do it safely and effectively at your level of ability?  Here are full instructions.  

We’ll be using it in some energizing mini routines, coming up soon.

Here is the PDF to the instructions: http://tinyurl.com/j3lhlpp

As always, when learning a new pose, it’s a good idea to set aside time separate from the rest of your yoga practice.  Then, as you become confident in the movements and modifications that make it right for you, you can integrate it into your routines.

Namaste,
Corinne

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My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
Kobo.
Here’s my shop on
Etsy.
You might also like my personalized yoga items on
Zazzle

Adding the Frog to Your Moon Salutation

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We’ve been piecing together
a short version of the Moon Salutation, with the goal of getting familiar
enough with it that we can add more movements to it as we go along.  If you’re comfortable with the moves you’ve
learned so far in this blog, it’s time to add Frog
and Jumping Frog.

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First, make sure you’re familiar with Frog and Jumping Frog.  We explored them recently.  Here are the detailed instructions:  http://tinyurl.com/hhgtm7v

Adding the Frog & Jumping Frog to the Moon Salutation, you can have an upgraded sequence that looks like
this:  

  1. Start in Mountain Pose and take time to settle into your breathing strategy.
  2. Do one round of Wood Chopper
  3. Widen your stance
  4. One or more rounds of Complete Breath from Standing Wide Angle
  5. Triangle,one or more times to each side.
  6. Return to Complete Breath and repeat Steps 4 & 5 as many times as you like.
  7. Another round of Wood Chopper.
  8. New Part:  Widen your stance and sink into the squat of Frog Pose.
  9. Hold  the squat for 6 or more breaths, feeling the weight of your hips sinking down more and more every time you breathe out.
  10. Move into Jumping Frog.  Do the lifts and drops of this pose 5 to 10 times, in rhythm with your breath.
  11. Finish in the squat of Frog Pose again.  Hold this squat for 6 or more breaths, as
    before.
  12. Puppy pose for several breaths.
  13. Child Pose for several minutes for a closing meditation.

The best way to go about adding these movements into
your sequence is:

  • Take separate
    time today, (and even over the next few days), to learn the movements to the
    Frog and Jumping Frog.  Here’s a link to
    instructions on how to do these poses, and how to adapt them to your level of
    ability:  http://tinyurl.com/hhgtm7v
  •  While you are becoming comfortable with these new
    movements, continue to practice your existing Moon Salutation sequence each evening.
  • Once you are confident with your Frog movements, and can do them without
    too much extra attention, then  tuck them
    into your Moon Salutation.  The go in between your final Wood Chopper and your closing Puppy Pose

It can take
several days before the new sequence starts to feel like it’s flowing.  

  • Over the first few days, just get a feel for which
    movements go where and for doing the movements relatively well.  (But don’t worry about doing them
    perfectly.)  
  • As you do this, it can be helpful to do a simple
    breathing strategy, like The Wave
    breathing, and just get used to when to breathe in and when to breathe
    out.  Here are instructions to The Wave:  http://tinyurl.com/jcrsr6u
  • Once the new sequence is ‘second nature’ to you
    then, when you practice it, focus your attention on your breathing strategy.  Let the movements take care of
    themselves.  

Breathing
Strategies

When you are first learning the
movements
of any particular posture,
set aside separate time to learn the movements and use:

Once you’re confident in the sequence,
here are breathing strategies for different purposes:

If you’d like to use this sequence
to energize you use:

If you’d like to use this sequence to feel calmer and
more focused, use one of these:

Close the sequence in Puppy and Child Pose, using one of these on Puppy and either the same one or The Sponge with Child Pose:

Helpful Links
Mountain pose instructions: http://tinyurl.com/hux6d5s\
Complete Breath from Wide Angle Pose instructions: http://tinyurl.com/zoelzjy
Triangle,
at different levels of difficulty:

Wood Chopper
instructions:  http://tinyurl.com/h6vwoky
Frog and Jumping Frog instructions: http://tinyurl.com/hhgtm7v
Puppy Pose instructions:  http://tinyurl.com/j7n43d8
Child Pose
instructions, (complete with modifications for your level of ability):  http://tinyurl.com/hh3s9p8

Namaste,
Corinne

My yoga books and charts are available by
clicking these links to
Amazon.comAmazon.ca,
and on
Kindle,
worldwide.
You’ll find my MP3’s on
CDBaby.com,
with a search for “Corinne Friesen”.
Click here for some of my material on
Kobo.
Here’s my shop on
Etsy.
You might also like my personalized yoga items on
Zazzle

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