Monday, October 27, 2008

All we are: "bags of warm, muddy, bubbling water with attitude?"...

My yoga teacher from the US explains how that's all we are in the video below!!! Yogiraj Alan Finger developed ISHTA YOGA, an acronym for the Integrated Sciences of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda. It is also a beautiful sanskrit word meaning that which resonates with an individual’s spirit. (This is a the yoga that I am trained in :)

Yogiraj Alan Finger brings 47 years of yoga experience to this lecture. His presence is peaceful, jolly and light, his intelligence bright and he resonates with the essence of yoga.



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Correct Alignment for Plank Pose (top of the push up position)

The plank pose (or the top of the push up position) is challenging for a lot of people as well, as since I don't have time to correct everyone in class at times, I thought this video would help. Again, your sun salutations will become more fluid and joyful, as you build the arm and core strength for the plank pose. So, hold plank and smile! See you on the mat!



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Chatarunga Dandansana!

Going from plank pose (top of the push up position) to chatarunga dandansana requires a lot of arm, core and wrist strength. So, start of with your knees on the floor as you lower down. This video demonstrates how to do chatarunga dandasana corrctly, because I know there's a lot of opportunity for misalignment! So, keep your shoulders by our side and have fun! Watch this video for more tips!! Your sun salutations will become more fluid and joyful when you get this pose down:



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) Properly!

Upward Facing Dog is a challenging pose for most beginners. In fact, you should probably start out with an easier backbend like the low cobra. But once you've built up strength in your arms and wrists, you can progress to upward facing dog.

I struggled with this pose myself when I started. There's just so many potentials for misalignment or hurting yourself. A lot of people just do it incorrectly. I found this video to be very helpful in giving you some good alignment tips to make sure that your do this pose with integrity and ease.

This pose as you know has many benefits such as:

1. Strengthens the arms and wrists
2. Increases the flexibility of the spine
3. Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen
4. Opens the heart and lungs

Watch this video and let me know how it goes:


Blessings and Namaste,

Anna

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is the meaning of "Namaste"?

We say "Namaste" at the end of yoga class but what does it mean? Watch this video to find out...

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Global Financial Crisis and Meltdown...how do we deal with it?

Honestly, I'm quite sick of reading and hearing about all the gloom and doom in the past few months. This crisis is more mysterious to me than the path to enlightment! Seriously, how do we really know how much money a bank really has or doesn't have, or if the government actually bailed out a financial institution? Why should we trust the media? All of the bank/government bailout approaches seem mere 'band-aid' solutions to much larger fundamental problems and questions. Do we really need financial markets at all? What is a free market? What does this tell us about human nature? Where are we heading as a society? Both Obama's and McCain's economic policies seem archaic...can't the great minds of the world come up with greater solutions and alternatives? Can't they think "outside the box"? We are slaves of these systems that have been created..the markets, money, etc....we seem to be regressing as a society. Humanity is ready for something more innovative and revolutionary to move forward. I don't know what will happen in the future..only history will tell. I wonder how this period in our history will be viewed in 50 or 100 years: "The Age of Greed and Stupidity"? Something to think about...

But it is difficult to deal with all this uncertainty and chaos around the world as citizens of any country. How do we cope with the stress? Eat more Ben and Jerry's ice cream? That's what I've been doing lately, and that's why I felt compelled to write this post...for my own sanity!

I have to say I didn't make time for yoga this week and turned to unproductive and unhealthy behavior. I think my frustration levels reached at all time high until I got on the mat today and finally resumed my practice. I felt so much better after doing a few sun salutations and just moving on my breath. I felt less stressed and saw things with more clarity and insight. Yoga works. Anyway, so if you're feeling like I was, step onto the mat and move :) Below is a short clip from Dr. Mehmet Oz about how yoga can help us deal with stress in our lives:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1018017975783&ref=share

Blessings and Namaste,


Anna

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Maintain a Long Spine..."

I must say this in class about 20 times. It's so important to maintain a long spine in yoga and in every day life to protect your back and posture. The spinal column is the single most important skeletal system to maintain and keep healthy for a long, pain-free life. Here's an overview of your spine (see picture):

There are three main sections of the spine:
Cervical - the seven vertebrae of the neck
Thoracic - twelve chest vertebrae supporting the ribcage
Lumbar - five vertebrae of the lower back
Pelvis and Sacrum – there are also five bones fused together to form the Sacrum, as well as three to five bones that form the coccyx or tailbone.

There are many poses or asanas in yoga that can help you to strengthen the muscles around your back and your core to hold up your skeleton. Just another reason to do yoga!!

Blessings and Namaste,

Anna

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Are you looking for a Yoga Holiday in Italy?

Can I recommend "The Hill that Breathes"? A fabulous place in Italy, by a Renaissance hill-town called Urbino, that offers fabulous yoga programs, yummy food, spectacular views and accommodations, delicious food and a pool! Check out the website and let me know when you're booking your Ryan Air flight:


Blessings and Namaste,

Anna