Articles and thoughts on yoga and healthy living
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on February 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
All of us with a yoga practice have had the experience of being sick and sadly missing our yoga classes for mutliple days if not longer. Should we avoid yoga while be are sick or continue practicing?
Bringing our yoga practice into your home is a wonderful way to practice while you are sick. A few things to keep in mind while practicing when you are sick.
1. Listen to your body! If your body needs to rest, honor that. If your body needs some movement start with a short practice and take it slow. Choice poses that help restore your body, restorative and gentle yoga are a wonderful option.
2. Warm up. Don't rush your body into deep poses, instead take things slowly and give your body enough time to warm up.
3. Become aware of your breath. When we are sick breathing can become a challenge, take your time and breath slowly and deeply. If breathing is difficult, let your yoga practice wait till another day.
4. Use props and be supported. Use props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks to support yourself in the poses and help your body fulling open up in each pose. Take time is expand the chest and open the heart.
Take care of your body and your mind and feel better!
Check out this video for a wonderful sick day yoga class!
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on December 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
As the holiday breaks start in our community, enjoy yoga with your kids! Kids benefit from a yoga practice by physical actvity but so much more. Having the opportunity to practice yoga allows kids to learn body awareness, sensory integration, builds self-esteem, fosters creativity and reduces stress and anxiety. Enjoying yoga with your kids is a bonding experience and demonstrates healthy habits for a life of good health!
Here are a few books that you can find at the Des Plaines Public Library that are great for kids and parents to try yoga together!
Peaceful Piggy by. Kerry Lee MacLean
Stretch by. Doreen Cronin
Other great books
Tiger Tiger is it True? By. Byron Katie & Hans Wilhelm. A wonderful book full of lessons about the power of our thoughts and emotions.
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on November 29, 2012 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Starting to bring our yoga practice from the studio into our homes can be a challenging change, but once you find the space for your practice the benefits are endless. Starting simply with bringing your yoga practice home is key, dedicating 10 minutes to practice not worring about how the practice looks but more about how it feels.
Finding a small area that is dedicated to yoga can be helpful in reminding you every day to practice. Let the practice be fun and carefree and the rest will follow. Here is a short sample yoga practice to try at home.
10 Minute Yoga Practice
Breathing: Taking a few slow and steady breathes, filling the belly and releasing. Just noticing how you feel today.
Warm up: cow pose: belly releasing to floor & looking up towards the ceiling, cat pose: back up, releasing the head down, downward facing dog: hips high, liftisng through the shoulders, child's pose (wide kneed) releasing the hips. Repeat as many times as you like, opening up the lower back.
Forward fold: Breathing in relax the shoulders and breathing out folding forward. Balancing eveningly on your feet, bending one knee at a time. Doing 3 rounds of foward folds.
Transition to sitting on the mat
Wide legged forward fold: Placing heels on the mat and breathing in lengthening and breathing out folding forward. Gently finding your breath.
Breathing: Taking a few slow and steady breaths, filling the belly and releasing. Just noticing how you feel after the little practice.
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on October 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
We are happy to offer Prenatal Yoga starting this October. There are so many benefits to having a yoga practice during pregnancy, even if its your first yoga class.
Prenatal Yoga helps in a variety of ways.
1. Breath: Practicing our breathing can help with stress and increase relaxation but also with delivery. Each class practices different types of breathing techniques in the class to help guide mothers to be.
2. The Hips: During pregnacy our muscles become more flexible to help to carry the baby and also for delivery. During our yoga classes we will work on hip flexibility which will give mothers a more comfortable pregnancy.
3. The Feet- Creating movement and flexibility in the feet will help relieve pain, swelling and improve circulation.
4. Posture- Working poses for the spine will help strengthen and allow the spine to hold a more natural curve helping to relieve pain.
5. Pelvic Floor- The pelvic floor carries a hammock of muscles which support the baby and help with child birth. Working those muscles through strenghtening and relaxing will help for a less painful pregnancy and aid in childbirth.
Join us for our Prenatal Yoga classes and discover the benefits for yourself!
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on October 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Now that fall is here it can be a challenge to slow down and listen to what our bodies need. Even if you don't have a meditation practice learning to slow down in your daily life is a wonderful skill to practice. By slowing down in our daily life to pause and take in the present moments of joy can be observed, those moments that we normally overlook and rush by. Likewise slowing down in our yoga practice helps us become more intune to where our bodies are and allow us to find beauty in each pose. Take an opportunity this week to slow down and enjoy the slow life!
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on September 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
I wanted to share with you one of my favorite mudras, the Lotus Mudra. Mudras lock and guide energy flow through specific hand positions. Mudras are combined with breathing and thought. This mudra is tied to the heart and is a wonderful mudra for heart opening and bringing love into our actions. Spending a new moments each day with this mudra is a beneficial practice for anyone.
With the base of the palms together, touch the thumbs together and then the little fingers together. Invite the other three fingers to open as wide as possible, like a lotus flower opening. Place the hands in front of the heart with the thumbs facing toward the chest.
"The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless & free your action will be" -Dalai Lama XIV
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on September 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
Forwards folds are a foundation of my practice and I incorporate them into our yoga classes. The benefits are many and this article helps to elaborate on those benefits. While practicing standing forward fold or Uttanasana spend time there allowing yourself to get to the juicy parts of the pose and breath into those areas of discomfort. Take time to listen to what your leg muscles, spine, hips and upper body are telling you in this pose and enjoy the benefits!
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on September 5, 2012 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
A nice quote to start the morning with! Cherish those you love every day.
"We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as a resulf of others' actions. We survive here in dependencies on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason, it is hardly suprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others." - Dalai Lama
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on August 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
Yoga does so much for adults but the benefits for kids is enormous beyond helping to create strenght and flexibility. If you are considering yoga for your little ones please read this article! All of these benefits can be found in our family and kid yoga classes.
See you on the mat!
|Posted by Stacy Cushenbery on August 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
Try an inversion today! Wonderful quote about the power of being upside down!
“Upside Down – Inverted poses gives us great energy. They help to balance the glandular system and the hormonal system and bring oxygen to the brain. They increase our physical strength and balance. Emotionally inversions bring us internal balance and poise when our lives are upside down!
Inversions give us new perspective. When we see the world upside down, we glean new understandings. In a shoulder stand and Plow our view is a more intimate as we gaze deep down into our own hearts. When you take the time to look what secrets does you heart want to share with you?
In Inversions we put our heart above our heads. Can you imagine how our lives – how the world would change – if we put our heart above our heads more often!