Home » yoga practice

Tag: yoga practice

June’s Strawberry Moon

In the month of June we can find some interesting dates you might not know about.

One of them is June’s full moon on the 17th, it has associations with ripening and the fullness of life. 

In North America, indigenous peoples called it the Full Strawberry Moon because of the berries they collected around that time.

In Europe, terms like Honey Moon and Mead Moon presented early summer as a time to wed. Newly married couples in Europe received mead and honey as gifts, a custom that probably gave rise to the modern term “honeymoon” probably comes from this tradition. 

Pagan cultures talk about the June full moon as the Lovers’ Moon and perform sweetening rituals. In India, married couples celebrate the June full moon as Vat Purnima.  This tradition calls on married women to fast, put on particularly beautiful saris, and wrap a thread seven times around a banyan tree. This expresses a wish that their husbands will live long and be happy.

How we can be influence by the moon?

According to the tarot readers each full moon is the time to release and let go.

Because of the aspects present this full moon, you can expect extra focus, optimism, and feelings of security as you pursue your goals. Is time to focus on your personal growth, don’t hold anymore things that are not letting you evolve.

Allow yourself to be creative; is a good idea to jornal your thoughts and your emotions as something to do as the first thing in the morning, without judgments.

Write down in a pease of paper what you want to manifest and what you want to let go. Be clear, be specific; go outside the night of the full moon and read it out loud.

Burn the paper where you wrote the things you are releasing (be safe) and keep the paper with the things you want to achieved. Save it in a place where you can read it every morning until it is manifested.

Another interesting date of the month is June 21st, a day to celebrate the summer solstice

What is a solstice? 

Ancient cultures knew that the sun’s path across the sky, the length of daylight, and the location of the sunrise and sunset all shifted in a regular way throughout the year.

They built monuments, such as Stonehenge – in South West England – to follow the sun’s yearly progress. No one really knows why Stonehenge was built some 5,000 years ago. But one possibility is that it was used to mark solstices and equinoxes. That’s because during the summer solstice, the sun rises just over the structure’s Heel Stone and hits the Altar Stone dead center.

Today, we know that the solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.

Did you know June 21st is the International Yoga Day?

As you might know already, yoga is an ancient practice originated from India. This practice is 5000-year -old which heals your mind, body and soul and we can say that yoga reforms your thoughts to peruse a great lifestyle.

June 21st was declared as the International Day of Yoga on December 11 in 2104, by United Nations General Assembly after the call for the adoption of June 21st as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. 175 nations took part in this resolution.

During his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 Modi said,

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”

 Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

By suggesting June 21 (which is summer Solstice) as international yoga day India Prime Minister said that- “The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world”. 


Bringing together all these interesting events taking place in June; I have decide to host the monthly Chandra Namaskar practice on Friday June 21st, 2019, where we will gather to celebrate the full moon, the summer solstice and the yoga day.
Wow so many good things!

The event will take place At 6:15pm, with a Yoga Class where all the donations will be to fundraise  Cayman’s Act of Random Kindness

If you are around this side of the world you are absolutely welcome to participate.

Here is a flyer with a link of the event below

We will practice Chandra Namaskar also know as Moon Salutations.

I will guide you in a slow flow practice that invite us to cultivate the moon’s soothing lunar energy.


What to bring?:

  • Your  Yoga Mat 
  •  Your water bottle.
  • Pen and paper to perform a release ritual.
  • Mosquito Spray for the sunset
  • Blanket if you prefer to cover during the meditation

Place: Dart family Park.
Link to the map direction

If you can please share this event, we will definitely appreciate it and you will be helping us to reach more people.

Love & Gratitude

Renée

How Yoga can help you to improve as an Acrobat.

If you’ve ever asked yourself 

“How do other aerialists make this all look so effortless and graceful?”.

I get that question quite often

The answer is: CONDITIONING. 

Efficient conditioning done consistently, with proper rest and recovery.

Did you know that yoga can help you to improve your conditioning practice?

Yes!, Yoga can help so many people in so many way.

And the best of all, you don’t need to be flexible to start practicing,

Let me tell you something, when I was in my earliest twenties I had a lot of energy and I only care about improving my physical condition without being aware on how important it is to work in your wellbeing integrating mind, body and soul in order to improve yourself in any discipline.

Maybe you are like me and you practice aerial circus acrobatics, maybe you are a professional or you just started taking classes. Maybe you are a gymnast, a pole dancer, a rock climber or you just enjoy to play around practicing acrobatics postures of yoga like headstand, crows and arm balances.

If so, let me ask you somehting;

How long have you been practicing and how much have you improve?

It is already proved that we won’t get different result by doing always the same thing.

Every time I am in my trainings dealing with a hard move during my climbing sessions or if I am trying an inverted posture in my aerial silks trainings; I try to take the time to discover a new awareness of the posture and focus my attention in the details.

How do I feel my feet? Am I using my strength in an efficient way?

To be able to brig your mind to be present in the moment is something I learned form my yoga practice and I can transfer that to any other areas of my life.

It helps me so much what I practice on the mat to prepare my body and my mind to be ready for my aerial trainings or when I go to rock climb for fun.

But you might be wondering how does that exactly happen?

Basically I practice de yoga postures where I am using the same muscles or similar movements I will do later in my trainings.

For ex:

1- If I am working in improving my straddle position for the aerial trainings; in yoga I will practice Upavistha Konasana

Upavishta Konasana

Another examples;

2- If I am working an aerial pose or trick witch demands lots of shoulder opening in yoga I will practice Reverse Prayer Pose, also known in Sanskrit as Viparita Namaskarasana and I make sure that I am present with intention the palms of my hands as well as my fingers.

In Sanskrit the name is Paschim Namaskara or Paschim Namaste.

Benefits:

💗It is a heart-opening posture that increases flexibility and strength in the arms, shoulders, chest, and wrists.

Level: 

  • Beginner- Intermediate 

Equipment:

  •  You don’t need any equipment to practice but you can experiment trying to hold a yoga block or something in between your reverse prayer hands
If your palms doesn’t touch,

3- If I want to work in the flexibility of my spine ; I will practice a yoga twist pose named, Marichyasana twist. (there are many variations of the pose)

Benefits:

  •  It calms the mind and the body.
  • It stretches the shoulders and the upper back.
  • Massages the internal organs and improves digestion.

Level

  • Beginner/ Intermediate

Equipment

  • None, but you could use a yoga strap or a belt to hold between the hands if needed.
Option, bottom leg straight

Or

3- Urdhva Dhanurasana pose also known in English as the Bridge pose.

Benefits:

  • Expands chest, lungs, shoulders.
  • Stretches hip flexors, muscles of the abdomen, wrists.
  • Strengthens the gluteus, hamstrings, lower back muscles
  • Enlivens the heart chakra and throat chakra.
  • Increases energy.

Level:

  • Intermediate/ Advance

Equipmnets:

  •  You don’t need any equipment to practice but you can experiment trying to push from a safe elevated surface like yoga blocks or the step of stairs, if you feel your shoulders are tight.
Urdhva Dhanurasana

And the examples can go on; because I have been there I know how it feel when you can not tell what are you doing wrong and why you can make any progress an an specify posture or trick.

Bringing together my years of experiences as a practitioner, my university education and my observance in my students; I have create a conditioning workshop specific for people who practice aerial circus acrobatics, such us aerial hoop, aerial silk or aerial trapeze combining yoga tools and physical education trainings.

If it happen you are in Cayman Islands I am leaving here a flyer with the info and a link.

Link to the Facebook event

If you are no currently in Cayman Islands but you understand the importance of working your body with love and awareness being respectful of your possibilities and limitation, knowing these limitation will transform in achievements with the practice then add other kind of practice like yoga to improve your training.

I will suggest to practice:

  • Vinyasa yoga if you are looking to build endurance
  • Hatha Yoga to cultivate more awareness.
  • Restorative yoga to rest and recover your body.

Are you interested in having access to an online training where you can practice at home?

Let me know, send me an email to tell me what would you like to learn online to make your performance as an acrobat easier

Join the Facebook Group, Yoga for every Acrobat and take advantage of the weekly videos tutorials I posted with easy yoga postures to practice at home

Find the practice that suits you better.

“We are spiritual beings having a human experience “

-Pierre Tierhard-

Namaste.

Renée

Is Restorative Yoga class for you?

Are one of those person who are almost addicted to any kind of physical activity? Do you know when to stop?

I am here raising my hand, I am one of those.

I’ve been having a fairly active life style with up and downs since I am 5 years old; then is when all started with dancing lessons, then my mom signed me up to swimming lessons because she doesn’t know how to swim and she didn’t want me to be afraid of the water as she is.

Followed by gymnastics lessons, witch I loved it and I still do I just never felt comfortable with the competitive side of it. As a young adult more dancing arrive into my life and then is when I also started working as a professional/acrobat dancer. I saw the Cirque Du Soleil for the first time and I went crazy passionate about aerial circus acrobatics together with my university career in Physical Education + my Yoga Teacher Training and so on…

The thing is I was one of those person who care so much about learning and improving form the physical aspect of my career, that I used to think taking restorative/relaxing classes was a waste of time ..

I was so wrong!

Growing older I understand and I am more interested in how much do we need to slow down when we need it and by doing it we will have more energy for the future trainings as well as faster improvement, because we gave the time to our body and our mind to absorb all the information we are putting in each activity we perform.

Yoga for all levels

Yoga is truly the all-inclusive exercise. There’s a yoga class for everyone, regardless of your body type, health condition, or level of activity. 

There are 2 styles of yoga classes I prefer when I need to reset and recharge the body and the mind:

Hatha Yoga being my first approach to yoga, is a style I recommend to practice if you are an active person who shaving a hard time with slow flow classes because you are always running at 120% and also for beginner who would like to try yoga classes but you don’t know where to start

This school is considered the most traditional form of yoga practice. Ha means Sun, representing the heat and the masculine aspect. Tha means Moon, representing the coolness and the feminine aspect. In these classes we aim to balance “Ha” & “Tha“, soul and mind with a slow flow yoga sequence. We are still moving, but we move slowly and we hold the posture for a couple of minutes. Including 20-30 poses in each classes with the benefit of increasing flexibility, stability, balance and awareness on our movements.

Here I am sharing 3 postures you can practice any time:

PADMASANA OR LOTUS POSE
MARICHIASANA TWIST
UTTANASANA OR FOWARD BENDING POSE

The 2nd style I strongly suggest is Restorative Yoga, focusing on 5-6 postures only, holding each posture 5-10min; using props that will allow you to relax into the pose and hold it for longer periods of time (up to five minutes).

Restorative yoga classes are for all levels because it focus more on the meditative and healing aspects of yoga. Is great for improving:

  • Specific health conditions like chronic back or neck pain, anxiety and high blood pressure
  • Alignment between your body, breath and mind.

Sharing some postures you can practice any time

NECK STRETCH
SUPINE SPINAL TWIST
SOFT ROCKING SIDE TO SIDE HUGGING YOUR KNEES

Now there is a warning here, I know this might be a hard class to follow if you are a person who is used to super active, powerful classes and doesn’t know when to slow down.

If this is you, I suggest to start with Hatha and then as you are feeling comfortable with slow flows you can transition to Restorative. I am saying this because I used to be one of those who thought moving slow or staying still was a waste of time, not knowing when to shut down and not being able to appreciate the stillness, the observance of the self, so much needed.

We talk often about self care but how much do we actually do about it.

If you think yoga is not for you, give yourself some time, be aware there are other activities you can approach to restore, like meditation, Tai Chi, or something much more simple as a slow peace walk, reading a book or enjoying a cup of tea

So don’t wait any longer, either or, choose the style of yoga or the style of physical activity you feel comfortable with; we tend to postpone things even if we know there are good for us.

Go and get comfortable in your clothing, grab your yoga mat and let’s get started!

I love Manduka brand, if you don’t know it I am leaving here a link to some of my favourite leggings for yoga practice.

Oh, just one more thing I want to share

If you live in Cayman Islands or you are visiting feel free to stop by to one of classes I am currently teaching at Quintessential Movement Studio.

Remember to check with a certified instructor anytime is needed.

Namaste,

Renèe

Let’s keep in touch

[jetpack_subscription_form show_only_email_and_button=”true” custom_background_button_color=”#0693e3″ custom_text_button_color=”undefined” submit_button_text=”Subscribe” submit_button_classes=”wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background has-vivid-cyan-blue-background-button-color” show_subscribers_total=”false” ]

*Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link to the course. This is at no extra cost to you. I will receive a small commission of the sale if you decide to purchase the course. I do not endorse anything I have not read or used myself.

Full Moon the Art of Letting Go

Everything is changing in ways we have never imagined to be.

Crazy times, dont you think so?!

A couple of weeks ago we were living in a world where everything was possible, moving fast, living a life full of schedules, updates, work etc.

It felt like the day never had enough hours

And now… everything stopped.

Time is still and most of us don’t know what to do with this gift

How do you feel about it?

I know I need it and I am taking complete advantage of having so much time to go back to my personal projects, to move slow and reflect.

I am a fan of the Moon, I love following the energy that brings us; during new moon new projects to develop, during full moon time to do some cleansing, reflect and let go what is no longer serving us

Every Full moon invites us to press the pause bottom, slow down, analyze our actions and do some introspection.

Are you really leaving the life you want to live in?

What have you achieved?

What do you want to change?

What do you need to let go?

Persons, situations, feelings, regrets, experiences

Like that closet in the house that nobody wants to clean because is full of sh#t.

It might be the way you feel inside

Take the time to do an internal cleaning, in order to achieved whatever it is that you want to achieved you need to let go what no longer is serving you.

Forgive yourself and others.

Cultivate compassion.

Create space for the new to come

What is Chandra Namaskar?

Before getting into our moon salutation practice let’s review a few aspects about the Chandra Namaskar and the difference with Surya Namaskar:

“The moon as not light of its own but reflects the light of the sun”

  • The moon salutation practice is a reflection of the sun salutation practice. The power of the opposites.
  • Chandra Namaskar is best to practice at night channelizing the moon energy preparing the body and the mind for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Surya Namaskar is best to practice in the morning when the sun is rising, channelizing the sun’s energy for the day to come.
  • Moon Salutations are associated with the yin and the feminine, a receptive, meditative, cooling practice
  • Sun Salutations are said to be the Yan and the masculine, an energizing and awakening practice, related to building heat.

Although sun and moon salutation sequences embrace different qualities, they complement each other perfectly. To create equilibrium in our yoga practice and in our life is important that we recognize the qualities and benefits on each side of the spectrum so that we can find balance and unity between them.

How to practice Chandra Namaskar?

As there is deferents variations of the sun salutations, there are few options of the moon salutations flow.

Here I will share the one I include in my practice :

Is better to place your yoga mat sideways facing the widest part of your mat because you will be flowing from left to right and right to left.

Feel free to adapt or modify the postures to suits your needs and props if you prefer to do so

Begin in Tadasana, standing up at the right edge of the mat you will be starting with your left side. Remember our left side represent our moon energy our softer more contemplative side.

Urdhva Hastasana or Talasala

Translate to “Raised hands pose” or the “Palm tree pose”

Urdhva=raised

Hasta=hand

Tala=palm tree

Asana=posture

Inhale and rise your arms, interlace your fingers, leaving your index finger and thumb extended. Press the feet into the floor and reach the fingers and crown up while relaxing the shoulders down and back.

Standing Crescent Pose

From Urdhva Hastasana exhale and press the right hip out to the side, extending over to the left. Keep the feet grounded and the legs and buttocks engaged. Reach up and out through the fingers and crown.

Inhale and press into the feet as you reach the fingers back up towards the ceiling.

Repeat on other side.

Utkata Konasana or Goddess Pose

Exhale taking a wide step with your left foot to the mat with the feet 3 feet apart and lower into a squat while keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Bend the elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms facing each other.

Utthita Tadasana or 5 Pointed Star

Inhale pressing your weight into the feet, pull up the knee caps and squeeze the thighs, tuck the tailbone, and feel the legs strong and solid, rooted into the floor. Extend your arms reaching out through the fingertips, trying to touch the side walls. Relax the shoulders down and back, gently opening the chest towards the front of the room.

Exhale as you are transitioning to the next posture

Utthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle Pose

Turn the left foot with the toes facing the the left edge of the mat and your right foot 90 degree with the toes Ponting to the front, the wider part of the mat. Picture a line connecting your left heel and your arm f your right foot. Extend your left arm toward your left side like if you wanted to reach the wall and lower into to grab your big toe, ankle or chin with your palm facing forward.

Inhale and extend your right arm into the sky bringing the arms into one straight line with the shoulders stacked on top of each other. Press the left hip forward and the right hip back.

Face up to your top hand if that is feels ok for your neck otherwise relax your neck and face to your lower hand.

Parsvottanasana, Pyramid Pose or Intense Side Stretch

parsva = side, flank
ut = intense
tan = to stretch or extend.

Exhale and rotate your torso to the left, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the edge of your mat. As the right hip point turns forward, press the head of the right femur back to ground the back heel. Press your outer thighs inward, as if squeezing a block between your thighs.

Lean the torso forward from the groins over the left leg. Stop when the torso is parallel to the floor. Firm your scapulas against your back, lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.

Press your fingertips to the floor on either side of the left foot. If it isn’t possible for you to touch the floor, support your hands on a pair of blocks or the seat of a folding chair. Eventually the long front torso will rest down on the thigh

Virabhadrasana A,

Facing the same side you already are, bend the front knee over ankle, create more distance between your feet if needed, tuck the back toes under and straighten the back leg keeping your hips square facing your front foot, come into a lunge positions inhale extending your arms over head. Maybe looking uptimes to the moon if your back allows it.

Option: rest the back knee on the floor, with a pillow or folding the side of the mat if it feel uncomfortable.

Skandasana or Forward Facing Side Lunge

Exhale bring both hands down into the grown and flow facing the wider side of the mat

With your left knee bend let the hips sink down towards the left heel but keeping your left foot down on the ground and your right leg straight, pressing out through the right heel, flex your right toes to the sky.

Inhale and rise your right hand gazing your eyes towards it

Option: if this is not possible adapt it into a side angle pose

Malasana or Garland Pose

Move like water into your yogi squat. Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat or a block.

Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in Anjali Mudra also known as prayer hands and resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.

Stop here for 3 inhalation and exhalations if you want

Keep moving like water no we will reverse the order of the postures in your right side.

Skandasana or Forward Facing Side Lunge

With your right knee bend.

Lunge over your right foot

Facing your right side of the mat

Parsvottanasana, Pyramid Pose or Intense Side Stretch

Falling forward toward your right knee

Utthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle Pose

Facing your hip to the wider part of the mat. Right hand down and left arm up to the sky.

Utthita Tadasana or 5 Pointed Star

Utkata Konasana or Goddess Pose

Standing Crescent Pose

Bring your body weigh into your right side so you can step your left foot next to the right one at the right edge of the mat

Urdhva Hastasana or Talasala

This is a full cycle.

This is a moving meditation.

You can repeat this as many times as you want until you can feel yourself flowing like water from one posture into another.

If you set any intentions or releasing at the beginning of your practice try to think on these during you all practice.

I am sharing this because I absolutely love it and enjoy it.

Things to remember:

  • Be always careful.
  • Do any modifications in the postures to suits your need.
  • Is always better to practice with a certified instructor if you are not sure of what are you doing.

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” 

Mary Manin Morrissey

SHARE THE JOY,HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

NAMASTE

Renée

Let’s Keep in Touch!

Write you email address below to receive updates