This & That: Online Gift Shopping

at the desk

Enough with the mall shopping. Are we not all online all day? Clicking off of ToysRus dot com as my boss walks by? No, just me? Between work and all the joyful holiday madness, you could potentially feel a tension headache coming on. And when I say “you,” I mean of course “me.”

So unclench your jaw and try puppy pose. First of all, you can’t be stressed because puppies are adorable. But more importantly, this posture stretches your shoulders and upper back – making all sorts of room in there for tension to melt away.

puppy pose

The first image is from one of my favorite sites A Merry Mishap. And the second pic is from Yoga Sports Style.

This & That: Grounding

mug junkie

Feeling a little manic? Try forward fold to calm the mind and go inside.

Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend is a grounding pose that can calm anxiety and, along with the breath, quiet the mind. You’ve got both feet rooted solidly into the floor and your head reaching down toward the earth. I feel like it’s an incredibly grounding posture, and introspective too. I always like the folding-in-on-oneself poses to help me feel calm and protected.

Forward folds are not for you if you have high blood pressure, but for most of us it’s an incredibly helpful posture.

First image is from Mug Junkie and the image of uttanasana from Jennifer Elliot Yoga.

Time To Rearrange

Remember when I mentioned that I didn’t have a great spot to do yoga in the new apartment? Well, this past weekend I did some re-arranging of things.

During the juicefest I felt a little boost of motivation and creative energy (though not a huge desire to be outside or terribly active). So, I finally moved some things around and I think I have a better place to practice. I can see out the window, feel less boxed in. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting there.

PS Can you spot the dog in this picture?

This & That: Balance

Feeling a little off kilter lately? It happens to the best of us. Try nadi shodana pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) to get you back in balance.

Focused pranayama used to be a part of my daily practice, and then it kind of, well, just slipped off the radar. But this morning I really felt a pull to do some nadi shodhana. They say it is balancing and purifying. For me, I felt calmer and more focused.

First image is from The Huffington Post and the second is from Noda Yoga. And if you think I didn’t spend at least a couple of minutes watching models fall on the runway, then you are mistaken.

Yoga in Tough Times

This week has been rough for those of us in the North East. Right now the sky is an incredible blue and the clouds are perfect white and shadow. The storm, and the aftermath, have really been stressing me out. I’ll say this, I am among the fortunate to have power and water. So, so many people are not so lucky.

I’ve tried to curtail my consumption of media at this point. It’s so overwhelming. I feel better when I reach out to the community around me – letting friends and family come charge electronics, get warm and do laundry; or just sitting in coffee shops chatting with neighbors – than I do when I’m on twitter or Facebook or even reading the news.

I keep telling myself this is an opportunity to slow down. To let go. To be aware and to practice. But it’s hard not to be wound up when there is so much swirling around us. I have been lacing up my sneakers and running, rather than getting on the mat. But I feel that shifting now too.

With this post, I’m simply stating where I am in my head. Completely grateful, worried about those who are still without power, and worse. And simply trying to hold the space to have all of these emotions at once.

Be safe.

Image from Michelle Gardella Photography. Doesn’t it look so peaceful?

This & That: Headaches

… if you suffer from the occasional headache, try seated yoga mudra. This posture will help stretch tight neck and shoulders, which may be causing headaches…

You guys, I like to gently roll my head on the ground for an extra little head massage. It’s not exactly getting your hair washed at the salon, but it’s not bad.

First image from the tumblr of Marianne Marquez. Second image found here by Peace on The Mat.

Yoga Solo?

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and she mentioned meeting up with friends for yoga class. And I realized I never do this. It’s not that I don’t know other people who do yoga. Or even that I’m not friendly with people I meet in class. But something about it just struck me as unappetizing.

I guess I have always thought of my practice as a solo operation. Just me, my mat, and an encouraging voice or knowledgable assist.

What do you think? Do you fly solo, or do you get down-dog with friends?

Image from this site, which is touting gorgeous-looking writing/yoga retreats in Mexico. Yum.