MORE COOL WAYS TO USE PROPS

 

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I want to wish you all very Happy Holidays and best wishes for the year ahead!

When I’m short on time or want to add on some core work after another workout, these shorter classes are perfect! This week I have a core class set to upbeat tunes that uses both your own body weight and the block for front and back (glute) core work to spice up your practice.

Click here to go to my website or click on the image below (with images from the class) for the video. Note: this is only a core class.

If you missed last week’s Favorite Find on how to make yoga props from items already in your home, click here for the video by Baxter Bell.

Enjoy this quieter Holiday week!
“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you…” – Paramahansa Yogananda

One inspiring cue:

With your left foot forward and left knee bent for Pigeon Pose, place a block under your left hip and another under your right thigh. As shown above, you can also use a third block under your forehead to keep the spine long. Then, press the pinky edge of the front bent-knee foot into the floor so the heel slightly lifts.

Why?
According to Doug Keller (adjunct teacher of Yoga Therapy at the Maryland University of Integrative Health), when we press the pinky edge of the foot into the ground, we help stabilize the knee. Not only does this action help with stabilization, it also externally rotates the shin bone and assists with externally rotating the thigh bone. These external rotations may help create space and release pressure on the front knee joint for those that feel pinching in that knee when in Pigeon Pose.

Using the blocks to support your front hip (bent-knee leg) and extended back leg in Pigeon can assist in getting the hips more level, especially if you are tight in the front hip. With the hips more level and the support of the blocks beneath you, you can achieve more effortless opening in the external rotators of the front hip. This variation can also help those who experience front knee pain in traditional Pigeon Pose. The elevation and leveling of the hips prevents excess pressure from being dumped into the knee joint.

A note to consider about Pigeon Pose: There is a lot of “hoopla” right now in the yoga world about this pose potentially being damaging for the hip and knee ligaments. Why? The theory is that too much flexibility in the hips can be created by the passive, deep stretching often practiced in the pose, making them unstable. I’m not saying I agree or disagree but, by using props, you can still get nice opening/sensation in the hips while taking the risk of “overstretching” down a notch.

One inspiring tip:

You can substitute a bolster instead of the two blocks under your front hip and back leg for the same supportive release. If you don’t feel enough opening, roll a towel (or use a block) and add it under the hip of the front bent-knee leg.

In this week’s Favorite Find, Baxter Bell shares how to use items you already have in your home for great make-shift yoga props!

If you missed my 45-minute video from last week that uses the wall as a prop for class, click here to check it out!

One inspiring song:

“Sea of Oms” by Morley

One inspiring quote:

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from your past, but you will find yourself.”
– Deepak Chopra

Good Morning!

Back in the day when yoga classes were 90 minutes, I’d teach using the wall as a prop during class for the last 30 minutes. Why? Because there is so much you can do at the wall to create more stability, balance, and challenge that you just can’t do in the middle of the room.

Today, I have a 45-minute class at the wall for you. We’ll be experimenting with High Lunge with your back heel on the wall, finding more length in both Revolved Triangle and Warrior 3, and playing with a one-leg Handstand into High Lunge for a little stability challenge. The images below will give you a preview of what we’ll be doing in class. When you’re ready, click here or on the images below to go to my website for the recording – the cool tunes are from @djtaz and @emmittfenn.

If you missed my video on how to create your own set of wall ropes at home, or last week’s Favorite Find on how to use one strap and a door for some amazing at-home adjustments, you may want to head on over to my website to take a look! These at-home prop set ups are a great substitute for having your favorite yoga instructor assist you in poses for extra length and space. Enjoy!

t’s PROP month – again! Because there are so many wonderful ways to use yoga props, I wasn’t able to share everything I wanted to last month. So, I am going to continue the theme this month! Using props, especially the variations I’m sharing, is like having your favorite teacher right there with you, adjusting you. Make sure you watch this week’s Favorite Find to see what I mean.

One inspiring cue:

Place two blocks at an angle against a wall as the picture above shows. As you take your arms overhead to come into full Wheel, allow your hands to find the blocks instead of the floor. Push your hands into the blocks and come up slowly to ensure the blocks are stable.

Why?
This is my absolute favorite way to practice full Wheel! When you use the blocks, there is less extension in your wrists and less flexion in your shoulders. Thus, it is perfect for those who feel strain in their wrists and/or shoulders in full Wheel. It is also easier on your back since the blocks create less extension in the spine as well. Give it a try!!

As I’ve already said many times, using props is such a great way to ENHANCE any pose. Check out this week’s Favorite Find for cool ways to use a door and a strap to find more length and space in multiple poses, including Half Moon, Triangle, Warrior 2 and Pyramid. Click here or on the image below to go to my website for this video.

One inspiring tip:

 

Try placing your feet on the blocks as shown in the picture below. Like the cue above, this variation will also take some of the extension out of your spine, making it feel more comfortable for those with any back issues.

One inspiring song:

“Alive Again” by AHI

One inspiring quote:

“Thoughts are energy, and you can make your world or break your world by your thoughts.”
– Susan Taylor

Chaturanga - Quick and Easy Variations

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