A happy yoga pose ~ Happy Baby

Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) – Release tension in the hips and low back in this playful, happy yoga pose.

Benefits:  This pose helps to release tension in the low back and sacrum. It opens the hips, inner thighs and groin; stretches the hamstrings and glutes; relieves stress and fatigue; and calms the nervous system. It also helps to balance the kidney meridian where fear and anxiety can be held – balancing this meridian restores a sense of peace and well-being.

How to:  Rest on your back and hug the knees into the belly and chest. Reach between the knees and take hold of your big toes, or the outside edges of your feet. Open the legs to life the bottoms of the feet to face up, and the knees draw down toward the earth. The elbows are on the inside of the knees.

Once you’ve found the position of this pose, you can rock side to side or play with the legs by straightening one knee as you bend the other knee a little deeper.

Bonus points: Put a smile on your face! The pose is called happy baby! You never saw a grumpy baby hold this shape!

Mantra: “I feel joyful in my body!”

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – KEEP

Weekly Words of Wisdom: K is for KEEP ~ Keep moving.

One thing I know for sure is that movement changes everything. When we create movement in the body (yoga poses, exercising, dancing…) we physically change our connection to space and time. We improve circulation and in turn, we improve the quality of our health.

Stillness is great and much needed at times, but too much stillness can make everything stagnant. Prolonged stillness in the physical body makes us sluggish and weak. (If you don’t use it you lose it.)

Prolonged stillness in the mind (or repetitive thoughts that go on and on without really going anywhere) may hold us in an emotional prison.

Change the position in your mind and body by looking for ways to mix things up a bit. Take a different route to work. Park a little further out in the parking lot and enjoy the extra steps. Order something different at your favorite restaurant. Dig deep in your closet and wear that red shirt you haven’t worn in ages.

And by all means, KEEP on keepin’ on!

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – JUDICIOUS

Weekly Words of Wisdom: J is for JUDICIOUS – Mmhm. Judicious – an adjective defined as “done with good judgment or sense.”

There’s a quote by Helen Keller that goes like this: “The world is full of suffering – it is also full of overcoming.”

Sometimes we can get bogged down by the heaviness in this world. If we choose to focus on what’s wrong, we’ll continue to see more suffering. The good news is that when we choose to focus on overcoming – what’s going right – we’ll see more of THAT.

So how do we do that? How – in this world we live in – do we avoid becoming cynical and jaded by news of violence and disaster? Well, I have a few ideas for you…

Turn the channel. ~ This is a big one for me. As an empath, it’s difficult for me to separate myself from current reality vs. explosions and violence toward people acting the part. Avoid viewing violence.

Be selective, and surround yourself with uplifting souls. ~ Now, I’m not suggesting you become a fair-weather-friend, I’m just saying that it’s ok to distance yourself from relationships that feel draining instead of energizing. Also, BE the uplifting friend!

Stop watching the news and/or reading the newspaper. ~ Suffering sells, and the messages streaming through the news media are typically slanted in a way that makes them money. They want viewers and readers, so they report what they think will draw you in – dirty laundry. CHOOSE to not participate.

Do good on purpose. ~ Look for ways where you can be of simple service. Hold the door open for someone, help someone reach the top shelf at the grocery store, make eye contact and smile at someone who looks like they need it. Let someone know they aren’t alone in this world, and help them believe in OVERCOMING their own suffering.

Practice, practice, practice seeing the good in this world. Be JUDICIOUS with your time, attention and focus.

Because the world is full of overcoming.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – IF

Weekly Words of Wisdom: I is for IF – What IF…? And IF only…

We spend a lot of time as humans wondering how things might have been different IF we had only… Or we keep ourselves from moving forward by worrying about what would happen IF…

Sometimes it’s appropriate to consider the IFs. When we have a decision to make we might consider “If this, then that…” And based on the scenarios we conjure up we can choose our best direction.

Well, a little IF can go a long way, my friend.

IF can hold us in the past. When we cling to “if only” statements we innocently remain in a loop that prevents us from moving forward. Logically, we know the past cannot be changed. We can, however, change the way we think about it. We can work towards acceptance and maybe even forgiveness for ourselves and others. And in time, we come to terms with ‘what’s done is done.’

IF clings to future outcomes. When we are resistant to change we may imagine the worst case scenario. We shy away from putting ourselves out there because – what IF? What if I fail? What if I’m not accepted? What if this plan flops? Any of those scenarios could very well pan out and IF so, so what? We grow and learn and keep showing up. Whatever will be will be. (Que será, será.)

As IF you didn’t already know this. Thanks for allowing me to remind you this week.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – HEART

Weekly Words of Wisdom: H is for HEART – Today I want to honor you and that great big heart of yours.

For all the times you opened your heart and let someone in, only to be hurt in the long run.

For all the times you cared for someone else’s needs more than you honored your own.

For all the times your heart ached because a loved one was hurting.

For all the times you followed your heart and made the best decisions possible at that time.

For all the times you found joy in the midst of sorrow, picked yourself up when the going got tough, and continued to love with all your heart.

To you and that great big amazing heart of yours, I send love and gratitude. Thank you for being an example so others know what it looks like to lead with your heart.

This world needs more hearts like yours, my friend.

Lots of love,

PS: Click here to sign up for my email newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up to date on my yoga projects, events and announcements.