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Domini Anne: On Merging the GYROTONIC®, Yoga & Fitness Communities

February 18, 2019
domini anne specialized gyrotonic and gyrokinesis master trainer on the gyrotonic and yoga communities california

Master Trainer Domini Anne from Carmel, California. She is an avid mover and maker within the movement community who is constantly delving deep into GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods as well as various styles of yoga, movement and fitness.

I first met Domini in San Francisco many moons ago at S.F. GYROTONIC® where she also sold her own clothing line. It was exciting to catch up to see what else she’s been doing within her movement explorations like: Galileo Training, Yoga Trapeze, and Aerial Yoga.

I was definitely able to understand why she wanted to talk about the usefulness of knowing how to connect yoga and fitness with the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods and why we should continue to showcase their importances both in person and online.

Yoga & the Gyrotonic Method are supportive, [therefore] they are two logical crossovers. So how can we integrate [the Gyrotonic] system to people who are curious about movement?


Follow Domini’s Work

@dominianne (Instagram)

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the Gyrokinesis Method Yoga

5 Ways the GYROKINESIS® Method Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice

October 6, 2017
How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

Common questions I hear, “What’s the GYROKINESIS® Method?” “Is it like yoga or Pilates?” Sometimes it seems to difficult to explain, but perhaps it shouldn’t. The ultimate aim is to understand the body, move and enjoy.

This method was originally created as an injury prevention method for dancers, however it became widely used for general alignment and movement enhancement for many walks of life.

How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

©️ Atena Della Danza

“There are numerous benefits to mixing up your workout routine. It’s the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom (Arnold Lee, MD).

5 Ways the GYROKINESIS® Method Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice:

1) It can give you a different sense of awareness to the body’s makeup.

  • Our body isn’t linear and is hardly symmetrical. The Gyrokinesis method emphasizes on a whole body connection and, in particular, the spiral lines.  This way the mover can understand that the whole body needs to be involved in both movements small and large as our muscles, ligaments, and bones are connected in many ways – mostly in diagonals and spirals.
  • Also, the self-massage component of this method gives the mover an opportunity to draw attention to areas we tend to avoid or didn’t even know existed. We tend to forget our organs, what effect our muscular body can have on them, and the places in between. By turning our attention to these areas, the mover is able to awaken ‘dormant’ areas.

 

How the GYROKINESIS (R) Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand©️ Capital Gyrotonic

2) It can help you understand the painful/injured parts of your body.

  • Instead of working through the pain or avoiding movement altogether, this method helps the mover to avoid unhealthy habitual patterns in the body, which may have caused the pain/injury in the first place. Therefore, this method focuses on creating space in the joints before movement occurs to give the body a chance to find pain-free movement and appropriate range.

3) It can give you insight to the ‘internal body’.

  • The internal body (like in Tai Chi modalities) can refer to the micro-movements that can occur before movements become come into fruition. Gyrokinesis principles like ‘narrowing the pelvis’, ‘suppling’, and the ‘fifth line’ are queues for the internal body to ignite and guide the rest of the body for fuller, more expressive movements.

How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

©️ Gyrotonic Basque

4) It can help you reach a fuller movement potential.

  • Optimal range of movement is crucial to maintain healthy muscles and joints. The Gyrokinesis Method explores all ranges of movement so that over time the body is strong, supple. Therefore, within a Gyrokinesis class the mover is challenged to work on weak, or ‘blind spots’ to enhance overall movement. Without this the mover could have the tendency to only move a certain way, leaving portions of the body behind on movement development.

5) It gently opens areas usually avoided.

  • You will honestly open areas of the body like never before that don’t get enough attention. As previously mentioned, Gyrokinesis’ unique movement method involving circular and spiralling movements tap into the areas in between our normal range of motion. Therefore, the mover will be able to find an even better, longer-lasting muscular and neuromuscular connection within their movements.

Namaste


Want to try a GYROKINESIS® class?

Find me at Little Yoga Space Lisboa

or

Try the Gyrotonic.com’s Studio Finder

Enjoy!

Review Workshops Yoga

Mini Review: Yin Fascial Yoga Workshop with Beta Lisboa

September 25, 2017
yin fascial yoga with beta lisboa

Last weekend I attended a very informative Yoga workshop with Beta Lisboa at Little Yoga Space in Lisbon, Portugal. Beta focuses on releasing first the joints and then the fascia to help with emotional and physical trauma.

I was in major need of this workshop because of the amount of travelling I’ve done over the last 6 months. My ankles, calves, and hips in particular were stiff, which began to have an affect on my dancing and teaching physically and emotionally. This workshop also featured an all-time personal favorite: the tennis ball.


yin fascial yoga with beta lisboa

About Beta

Born and raised in Brazil, Beta was a Sports and Capoeira practitioner who later took up Ashtanga Yoga and Sports massage. As she continued to delve into the Yoga world she was also introduced to Yin Yoga and Spiral Yoga from Simon Low and Sarah Powers.

Beta also teaches and practices Myofascial Release, Mindfulness Meditation, Wellness Life Coaching, Dynamic Spiral Yoga, and Vital Essence Breathwork. You can learn more about these techniques on Beta’s website.

What is Yin Yoga?

According to Yoga Journal

This practice is designed to help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joints (mainly the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine). A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia.

What is Fascia?

According to Lauren Roxburgh

Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that encases your body under your skin like a wetsuit and actually wraps itself around every muscle, joint, and organ.

What is Yin Fascial Yoga?

According to Beta

Yin Fascial Yoga combines Yin Yoga with integrative Daoist Yoga in longer held postures with slower movements into the fascia opening up the body meridian system. Blending with Myofascial Release to target connective tissues, supportive structures, called fascia. Incorporating Mindfulness as a powerful tool for awareness in your practice.

yin fascial yoga with beta lisboa

About the Workshop

We began the workshop by introducing ourselves and stated why were were interested in taking the workshop in the first place. Answers varied from finding an overall physical release; to combat emotional trauma; to having a general interest in the science behind Yin Yoga and fascia. I, on the other hand, fell right in between these reasons.

“The body knows it’s way home”, Beta explains. We all stood up. Second order of work was to release the joints before we started releasing the fascia. Exercises consisted of rolling the ankle joints, hip/pelvis mobility, and some basic yoga postures standing and on-all fours. Movements were kept soft, almost in a restorative manner.
Next, we begin to release the fascia, starting with the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). Using one of the tennis balls, we carefully transferred our weight back and forth, massing the bottom of the foot in as many directions as possible. Then we targeted just the middle of the foot (close to the base of the toe joints), to focus on the connection to our organs, like in Reflexology.

yin fascial yoga with beta lisboa

We then continue upward along the body interchanging with spiralling movements and stretching, standing and on the mat. This helped the body to maintain its openness and avoid shutting back down into postural habits. My favorite anterior points of release were the psoas and the space right underneath the ribcage using 2 tennis balls. Good for releasing the posterior chain.

A favorite release point in the posterior portion began from the base of the spine, gradually rolling towards the upper back with 2 tennis balls, which proved to be a neglected part of the spine from sitting and being confined on a plane and bus. In fact, these release points have already been added to my daily routines.
Finishing with a few supported bridges and Shavasana, we gradually realigned the body back to where it needed to be. The body tends to release in a chain reaction, especially when dealing with Myofascial Release, the tissues and muscles “spontaneously unwind”. I walked out of the workshop feeling less congested in the joints, aligned, happier and generally more awake.

yin fascial yoga with beta lisboa


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Dance General Fitness and Well–Being the Gyrokinesis Method the Gyrotonic Method Tips Yoga

Best New Blogs in Dance, Health, and Fitness in 2016

October 7, 2016
best new blogs in dance health and fitness

Above: Mara Cimatoribus, founder and blogger of SHE-SMILES

In no particular order – these new blog platforms are equally amazing, inspiring and necessary for dance, fitness, health, and wellbeing enthusiasts alike.

One thing these blogs have in common is that all of the founders/creators/directors/bloggers took the initiative to use their experience and knowledge to create a fun, enthusiastic place for other like minded people out of the goodness of their hearts. Check out these topics ranging from ballet fitness to self-esteem improvement to yummy innovative recipes.

Lazy Dancer Tips – Best New Dance Vlog

best new dance health and fitness blogs

Former dancer of Royal New Zealand Ballet and current dancer in New English Ballet Theatre Lugoboni seriously doesn’t miss a beat in her new blog. Nearly everyday, dancers have access to exercises and tips on everything from ‘how to tie your pointe shoes’ to ‘how to exercise on the beach’.
Lazy may not be the case ‘per se’, but this lovely laid back approach to using ballet as fitness is accessible to anyone for anytime and everywhere. It is, of course, also great for those already deep in the ballet game. She’s got your back with in depth yet simple explanations of how to improve leg extensions, balance, and port de bras, just to name a few.
In addition, Iacopo Di Luigi, Lugoboni’s other half and business partner, works in Visual Effects and clearly has an eye for detail. This great collaboration manages to create the dynamic combination between video and blogging, which works flawlessly with both depth and clarity.
Follow this blog and you’ll never be out of touch with improving your fitness, ballet technique, and the cuteness of Lugoboni’s cats!

Sweet Om Yoga – Best New Yoga Instagram Account

best new dance health and fitness blogs

Not a formal blog, but Filitsa Thomopoulou’s photos are extremely well shot. She manages to capture some of the most intriguing yoga poses in unique angles. They all seem to tell a story, like a dance. This former ballerina ( á la the National Greek Opera School of Dance) has transformed her life from the stage to the mat after foregoing hip surgery. After living and dancing in London she returned back to her home in Athens, Greece and now teaches yoga full time.
She’s now beginning to incorporate video on her Instagram account, which further adds to the dance-like element; flowing into poses as if one sentence. Instagram and yoga have quickly become the perfect combination – and it’s everywhere. So what sets this account apart? Her precision and poise. Suitable for those who want to see how someone uses their technique to the fullest, safely and beautifully.
Traveling to Greece? Contact Thomopoulou for her class schedule here.

Wavelength – Best New GYROTONIC® Blog

best new dance health and fitness blogs

Thanks to Cina Canada, founder/producer/director of Human Picture Initiative and now (thankfully) Media Coordinator at GYROTONIC® International Headquarters, the very much global yet exclusive Gyrotonic community official have outlet direct from the source. Here – trainers, clients and anyone else alike can be informed with what others trainers and master trainers are doing  and, most importantly, read what they have to say.
Useful sections and series includes ‘Tips for Trainers by Trainers‘ and  specialized course highlights where Master Trainers are interviews to further explain the development of the course and, basically, ‘what inspired them?’. Gyrotonic headquarters also have a YouTube channel that features ‘The Gyrotonic Interview Series‘ (a must-see).
I have a great gut feeling that the Gyrotonic community fully appreciates to finally have this kind of dialogue accessible and out in the open. Always wanted to know more about the Gyrotonic Method and how it can improve your technique, posture and alignment? This blog is not to be missed.

Dance Longer, Dance Stronger – Best New Dance Science Blog

best new dance health and fitness blogs
Insights on dance, dance science, and injury prevention? Yes, please. Dance Longer, Dance Stronger was founded and entirely created by, budding entrepreneur, Claire Farmer. Farmer doesn’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer, especially when it comes to improving the dance community. So much so, she’s just created an app called The Performers Health Hub, which is now available!
During and after obtaining her MSc Dance Science degree, Farmer seemed to quickly know in which direction she was headed. Her goal was (and is) to find ways that important and useful information is available to dancers, especially involving health-related issues as she clearly describes on her website.
Want to know more about Dance Science and how to get involved? This one is definitely for you. You can also check out a range of articles that Farmer’s arranged that include topics such as “Anxiety and the Dancer” and “Health Before Money”.

Lucy Panou, Best New Lifestyle Blog

best new dance health and fitness blogs

Lucy Panou is so matter-of-fact and to the point,  I can only imagine that girls around the world are feel like they finally relate and feel right at home with her insightful and plentiful posts. Clearly written and driven from personal experiences, Panou dons an MSc in Dance Science as well as a certification in Lifestyle Coaching.
Her background as a dancer and the experience she’s had with body image further proves that she’s hugely passionate about what she courageously brings to the surface. Her straight to point blog posts include topics such as “Why Perfectionism is a Pain in the Ass […] and “How to Conquer Resiliency“.
In addition, she currently has a free package called “Discover How to Love Yourself and Your Body”, which includes an ebook amongst other useful information, like how to ‘Stop Worrying About the Mirror’. Don’t just take my word for it, see what Lucy’s clients have to say by scrolling down to the bottom on her home page.
Want a self-esteem boost? Contact Panou directly for advice here.

She Smiles, Best New Food Blog

best new dance health and fitness blogs

If you love acquiring new ideas for food then you’ll fully appreciate this one. The blog was created by Italian native and now Londoner, Mara Cimatoribus, after she realized she wanted to live and eat healthier. Within first glance, you’ll be able to tell you’re in for dozens of treats. Cimatoribus’s recipes are original, innovative and fresh, and provides mostly vegan and plant-based recipes.
She’s begun a section that documents her travel experiences. Here, she shares ‘where to stay’ and, of course, ‘where and what to eat’. Her photos are stunning and will no doubt will inspire you to visit said places and eat all of the food! So far, she’s documented her stays in Marrakech, Puglia, and Albuquerque. Stay tuned for more.
Cimatoribus also usefully puts together a range of suggestions for beauty, wellness, kitchen products, books and more (here’s an example). Once you’ve opened the menu on the homepage, scroll down and click on ‘Shop’ to explore.

Enjoy!

General Fitness and Well–Being Yoga

GUEST POST: The Benefits of Yoga on Anxiety and Depression

August 19, 2016
the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

The Benefits of Yoga on Anxiety and Depression

A guest post by The Klinik.

The ancient disciplines of Yoga have been around for centuries and are well known for offering holistic benefits to both mind and body. But when the mind particularly is overwhelmed and struggling with clinical issues such as anxiety and depression, yoga can offer extended benefits.

Exercise benefits everybody

There is a basic school of thought, based on research, which acknowledges that most forms of exercise, including yoga, can boost mental health as exercising releases endorphins, hormones responsible for that ‘feel good’ factor generally experienced at the end of a workout.

However, as reported in The Telegraph, research has shown that the levels of GABA, an amino acid which supports brain and central nervous system function, also increases in individuals who practice yoga. With low levels of GABA acknowledged as contributing towards low mood and anxiety, these increased levels of GABA following practice of yoga additionally promote well-being and calm, as well as reducing depression and anxiety.

Calming stress response

In the modern world, the intrinsic ‘fight or flight’ stress responses which kept our hunting and gathering ancestors alive are still very much present. These genetic responses are susceptible to many triggers in the modern world, such as physical and mental stress of the workplace and pressure in other areas of life, such as responsibility, finance and lifestyle. Essentially, the practice of yoga stimulates opposing responses to that ‘fight or flight’ reaction, triggering instead the parasympathetic nervous system to a ‘rest and digest’ response, which literally calms the stress responses and brings balance in the face of pressure.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

But as well as the hormonal relief to stress responses, the ancient meditative, relaxation and breathing techniques which are a fundamental part of yoga practice align with modern Cognitive Behaviour Training (CBT) and stress-management techniques, regularly offered as contemporary treatment for anxiety and depression. By learning the appropriate relaxation techniques as part of a yoga class or private tuition, individuals have a wider range of methods to use when stressful situations arise. These holistic benefits of yoga also make it the ideal exercise to prepare for or wind down from the day, in a way which is protective of well-being and can even be preventative against problems.

And breathe…

Breathing control, one of the basic techniques of yoga, can help to reduce stress in difficult situations and offer relief during episodes of anxiety attacks. Mastery of breathing techniques, even at an early stage of participating in yoga, is frequently advocated as helping to relieve stress and anxiety. The breathing techniques used throughout the disciplines of yoga include many cyclical breathing patterns, including slow, focused breathing which calms symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Other yoga breathing techniques include controlled rapid breathing for stimulation, which can also benefit depression by lifting mood, whilst focused breathing can also significantly benefit pain relief, lifting mood and increasing feelings of wellness as pain reduces to manageable levels.

Stress versus spirit

The breathing and relaxation techniques which underpin yoga practice also offer an opportunity to explore and develop a spiritual outlet. Focusing the mind elsewhere can reduce a sense of overwhelm which is often attendant with anxiety and depression, instead offering an alternative way to shift the focus from negative and overwhelming thoughts.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

Body and mind

The physical benefits of yoga also play a part in reducing depression and anxiety. Many individuals carry stress and anxiety as tension in the body, which can cause pain and contribute to long-term health conditions. The regular practice of yoga can help to reduce tension hot-spots in the body and relieve the effects of the additional stress this puts on the mind and body.

Additionally, yoga has recognised benefits of offering significant relief to many ailments such as respiratory complaints, digestive difficulties, circulatory problems and Arthritis. The benefits of yoga as a natural form of pain relief to physical ailments can also reduce anxiety and relieve some of the stress and depression related to living with a chronic health complaint.

In this way, yoga may also help to reduce anxiety and depression related to health conditions by improving body awareness. Practising yoga reduces mental and physical stress, reducing strain on the body and improving understanding of how the body works and responds, techniques which, once learned, individuals can use to control responses and calm anxieties.

Although holding a yoga pose may appear to just involve the body, there is both a physical and mental response to each yoga pose (Asansa). To carry out the asansa, correct breathing and relaxation techniques are required throughout, all of which require concentration and a physical response from the brain which sees a reduction in nerve chemicals, such as the stress hormone adrenaline, and relaxes the body’s other stress responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. As each pose targets a different system in the body, all systems respond with a stress reduction.

As such, regular yoga practice can also benefit heart rate and blood pressure, both of which relate closely to those ‘fight or flight’ responses and usually increase significantly during stressful situations. Regulating these with those ‘rest and digest’ triggers can help the body to respond to stress more effectively and help to minimise the impact of anxiety on the body.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

The group factor

Finally, it’s also suggested that taking part in an exercise class such as Yoga can also be beneficial to mental health and in warding off depression. As reported by the BBC, following studies at Oxford University, exercising in a group can lead to an enhanced level of endorphin release, those ‘happiness’ hormones which can boost well-being.

Being part of a yoga group also challenges depression by offering a sense of community and belonging, particularly when participating as a group in a therapeutic exercise such as one of the many disciplines of yoga. Those disciplines such as Hatha, Anusara and Restorative Yoga, which use techniques for relaxation and meditation, are particularly beneficial for those looking for support with anxiety and depression.


Content provided by The Klinik.

Stock photos provided by The Klinik, Pixabay & Pexels.

Selected links researched added by The Klinik & The Movement Blog.


Want to write a guest post for The Movement Blog? Contact Kindall here for more information.
General Fitness and Well–Being Yoga

Fitness and Well-Being Spots in East London

June 13, 2015

Here are my absolute favorite fitness and well-being spots here in London (Eastside).

The Refinery E9

If you’re not seeing their website right now, you won’t understand how it’s killing me with its goodness (and class offers!). This studio has many styles of Yoga and Pilates along with Kettlebell Cardio, GYROKINESIS®, Massage, Teas, Coffees– what more could you ask for?

Be sure to check out: A.) Esther for an amazingly thorough coconut-oiled Deep Tissue Massage and B.) Allison for enriched movement and strengthening with a GYROKINESIS® and/or Pilates class. This studio even has a Disco Ball on the premises and it’s own App.

York Hall Day Spa LONDON

This York Hall location houses a Thermal Spa for only £25 a pop (£18 for Tower of Hamlets card holder residents). Keep in mind, that the price is inclusive of a good 3 hour time slot. Alongside the commonly known sauna, steam rooms, plunge pool and chilled lounge areas, they offer a three room Turkish Baths (or Hot Rooms). The rooms range from warm, hot to very hot.

In the Turkish Baths you sit or lay on heated marble. This is beneficial for reducing Rheumatism (problems in the muscles, joints and connective tissue).  After that, it’s best to follow up with somesteam room action to cleanse the pores and calm the nervous system.

Yoga Place E2

Quaint, simple, and does the trick (in the best possible way). With acquiring only two yoga rooms, this studio really builds a sense of community. It also provides an open kitchen and loads of books to dive into before or after a class and/or a therapy session.

I mainly go here for my Ashtanga practice but there’s a large variety of classes where you can come in for whichever one as you please (no booking required). For the serious yogi? There’s a load of courses and workshops available too.

London Aquatics Centre| Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Fine, I’ve only been once, but perhaps let’s take a moment to realize its epic nature and the benefits of swimming (by clicking on those links). This Aquatics Centre is equipped with gym, swimming, and diving facilities (thanks, Tom Daley!). It’s practically a swimmer’s indoor paradise.

With it’s opening hours from 6AM to 1030PM there’s plenty of time to get a few laps in no matter what your schedule. Swimming lessons and courses are also offered at a very decent rate. So book now (that’s you and me both).

Triyoga, Camden

OK, I cheated, but I didn’t want to leave this one out. Located only 15 minutes from Hackney on the Ginger Line, this multi-faceted Yoga, Pilates, GYROTONIC®, Barre and Therapy studio features one of my all-time favorite things in life: the Far Infrared Sauna. This means right after any of your classes, you can hop in for a lovely post-workout treat.

There’s, of course, loads of other wonderful studios, spas, and pools to check out. So, if I were you, I would start by using the Dojo App and clicking on their ‘Get Fit’ category. Fitness on the go? Check.

Yoga

What happens to the body in Hot Yoga? Grab your notepad.

June 8, 2015

Practice Hot Yoga or wanting to try it out? Here are a few facts to know about this heat-induced workout.

Firstly, some people slightly confuse hot yoga and Bikram (which originally became popular in the 1970’s). What sets Bikram a part from other forms of ‘hot yoga’ is that it contains 26-poses in room almost over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Other hot yoga classes can consist of other asanas, or ‘poses’, that are more similar to that of a vinyasa or Hatha yoga style. On the other hand, hot yoga, or even ‘warm’ yoga, is a little more forgiving and can be a good alternative. Most of them now include infrared heating systems which can be beneficial.

As a dancer, I also wanted to find an activity outside of the studio with a little extra push to increase my flexibility and stamina. So, I’ve always wondered if sweating profusely in a yoga class was beneficial when manipulated by extremely high external temperatures? I was genuinely curious, so I dug up a few things.

Here are a few facts to jot down in your yogi diary:

Does Hot Yoga improve cardiovascular (heart) and pulmonary (lung) health?

  • There are only a few studies that investigated this. One study found that there were no differences in cardiovascular and pulmonary health in Bikram yoga practitioners. While further studies also found no significant improvement in the practitioners’ cardiovascular health.
  • Although, there is research, provided by the Yoga Journal, that found that as cardiovascular fitness involves both duration and endurance which, provided the heat intensity, could help one to (how should I say?) keep going no matter what!

Can the intensity of external heat improve flexibility?

Are toxins released through sweat? Is hot yoga a detox?

  • Yes and no. First of all, sweat contains certain types of toxins. The function of sweating is to cool the body down, therefore heavy sweating could ruin the body’s natural detoxification process. What helps to detoxify the body are the liver and kidneys, so it is the internal organs not the sweat glands. Moreover, to detox means to rid of metals and other toxic elements that enter the body, which is mainly done through excretion and about 1% through sweat.
  • Tip: look for studios that use infrared or far-infrared (FIR) heating systems, which were actually designed to help us rid of metals and other toxins through sweat (problem solved, perhaps?).

So, if you’re mentally and physically ready to face the intense conditions of a Bikram or Hot Yoga class, I’d say ‘go for it’. The challenge may be a good thing. However, according the the above findings, it looks like we fitness lovers need to always remember to prepare and take care of the body at all times.

Happy sweating!

General Fitness and Well–Being Tips Yoga

Resting Tips for Your Long Weekend

April 3, 2015

“Are you tired? Run down? Listless? Do you poop out at parties? “

Well, I’ve got a couple of resting tips for you.

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Viparita Karani literally means “inverted action”. It’s so easy, you won’t want to do anything else. Sit down on the floor or bed, shimmy your bum against the wall, put your legs up and lay down. Then just relax with your arms to the sides. As beautifully demonstrated by yogi, Katie Pearson, you can see that this pose can be done anywhere, for any reason.

This pose also plays a key role in improving sleep amongst many other vital factors in well-being. For example, it can serve as a refresher after standing or sitting for a long time, in which some of us are most guilty! ‘Legs up the wall pose’ is a contributor to calming the mind as well as releasing physical tension.

Yoga Journal’s columnist, Jeanie Manchester, states that combining restorative poses (like ‘legs up the wall’ with deep breathing (inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling even longer through the mouth) can activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS, which is connected to the cranial (brain) nerves, is what’s responsible for allowing our body to achieve a state of rest. So please, don’t forget to breathe.

YogaToes® Toe Stretchers

I wear my YogaToes® for legs up the wall pose because it’s the best (and I actually can’t function without them). These funny little ‘pedicure-style’ toe separators help to open and realign the foot’s joints and tissue. They also help to optimize mobility and reduce pain. Perfect for the end of a long day/ after a night of dancing (er, stomping).

No YogaToes®? Go to your local pharmacy and grab some standard pedicure toe separators in the meantime (yes, that’s an order).

It’s completely essential to incorporate rest into our daily schedule. It allows the body to rejuvenate and protect itself from messy things like anxiety and illness.

Happy 4 day weekend!