Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BANISH Belly Fat! Let go of stress (fear), eat "live" food, sleep better, tone the core muscles, drink more water, breathe in and especially out slowly, and laugh!

Banishing belly fat is something all of us are interested in; try these poses at home or in our gentle/beginners' noon class at Tranquility Yoga in Owasso!

Start off on your back with anterior and posterior tilts for the lower back extension and flexion.

Move into bridge by lifting the hips and pointing the knees toward the second toes.

Bridge Pose on the Floor (shown above)

Spinal Balance (shown above)

On the exhale, elbow to knee (Spinal Balance "aka Bird Dog" with a Crunch)

Always use a blanket or knee pad, to protect the knee as you come into Gate Pose.

Gate Pose for lateral stretch (shown above)

Modified Side Plank (shown above)

Moving back to your seated position, move into a modified or extended boat.

Beginner's Boat (shown above)

Ways to Modify Boat (shown above)

UPP - Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (hands under a sandbag)

Movement with UPP (bend knee for back problems and use one leg at a time)

Transition with Downward Facing Dog and step one foot forward.  Blocks are handy to help bring the foot to the top of the mat.

Low Lunge (shown above in our studio)
Then Twisted Lunge (modified just place opposite hand on knee to twist)

Coming to a standing position in Mountain Pose; prepare for chair squats with left arm underneath and right arm crossed over.  

Super Brain Yoga (shown above)

Standing after doing the lunge on both sides, it's time to balance!

Karate Kid Balancing Pose (shown above)

Moving back to the floor on your belly, remember to not allow clenching of the hips to create back pain.

Half Locust or Superman for Beginners (shown above)

Full Locust (much more difficult, but no tension in the back)

Grab some props and let's relax!

Child's Pose to release any back tension (begin to slow down the breath)

Time to rest, relax, and restore!  SHHHHhhhhh....It's a nap.  No talking.  (:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yoga Etiquette for All

14 Yoga Etiquette Tips I Recommend in a Yoga Studio

1 ~Be Punctual to Every Class

Thank you for practicing with us and coming about 15 minutes before class begins! It is a blessing to have you.  While we realize traffic issues, babysitting problems, and job requirements may require you to be late occasionally.  Please make punctuality a priority.  Your understanding with parking as Brian recommends is also appreciated. He is wonderful to help you in any way.

2 ~ Mind Personal Hygiene  
Clean mats, clean bodies, and clean clothes all contribute to the Niyama Saucha or purity.  Thank you for coming clean!
3 ~ Minimize Conversation. Or Go silent altogether.
Please leave your conversations in the reception area and minimize in the studio. Some people enjoy a quiet time before class begins to get grounded and in the moment.  Be friendly, but use a whisper or soft voice.  Thank you for welcoming every one, and for using a quiet voice.
4 ~ Turn Off all Electronics before Class
There are no cell phones in the studio.  Thank you for turning your phone to silent or off and leaving it in the reception room cubicles.  We appreciate you understanding that we all need to find that quiet and stillness without interruptions.  Brian is happy to watch your phone if you are a physician or on call.
5 ~ Wear Appropriate Yoga Clothing
Yoga clothing is appropriate.  Socks are a little scary due to the polished concrete floor.  Lots of skin appeal may be more comfortable at home.  Thank you for being comfortably clothed for movement and respect for others.
6 ~ Remove Shoes Outside
The Tranquility Yoga Studio has a radiant heated (water pipes underneath) type of flooring.  Due to the moisture and the heat, we chose to use polished concrete instead of bamboo flooring.  Thank you for leaving your shoes outside the studio in the reception room cubicles.
7 ~ Go Easy on Perfume and Cologne
We are all somewhat sensitive to smells.  At Tranquility Yoga we use Young Living Essential Oils as fragrance to protect our people's issues with asthma and sinus problems.  Thank you for going easy on the personal fragrances.
8 ~ Enter with a Positive Attitude
When you enter, expect a wonderful class.  Your positive attitude is contagious.  Yes, I realize that some yoga poses are difficult and not your personal favorites, but your teacher has worked long hours to prepare the best class possible.  Modify as needed. Thank you for kind words, kind smiles, and kind appreciation.
9 ~ No gum, No candy, No food.
OOPS!  Gum was stuck to the studio floor early this morning after yesterday's classes.  Thank you for leaving your gum, your candy, and your food in the reception area or trash compactor.
10 ~ Respect the Teacher
Nobody is perfect.  However, our teachers are all well trained and with yoga certifications.  Please overlook when we say, "Use right hand instead of left," or "Please turn to one side," and we have already been there.  Thank your for respecting the role of the teacher in the sadhana or yoga practice.
11 ~ Observe Silence during Savasana
Nap time as some call it or resting in the last 5-8 minutes of class is the reward for your hard work.  Thank you for not talking during this time.  Snoring is permitted.  
12 ~Always Thank the Teacher
I learned this very important rule from my teacher at YSA.  Always, always, always thank the instructor.  We take it personal because it is "personal."  We put our very best into every class we teach.  Thank you for remembering the courtesy of saying you appreciated the hard work of teaching.
13 ~ Clean Up Immediate Area
Everyone is so good with this cleaning up, and it is a blessing to us!  However, if you are in a hurry to leave to make an appointment, let the teacher know before class.  We are always happy to help.  Thank you for your tidying up!
14 ~ Sign In and Pay without a Reminder
While this studio is attached to our home, it is Jeanne's full time job to maintain the bookkeeping, teach the classes, clean the restroom and studio, wash the cloths, and oversee the schedule of over 30 classes.  Thank you for signing in and paying without skipping out or trying to use an already expired card.  Your faithfulness with our practice here at Tranquility keeps us adding to the class times and making plans to add another studio.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Beginnings, New Habits, New Mind-sets

"When we put our mind where our heart comes into focus."

I typically view January 2nd as the beginning of my new year since January 1st is usually a very busy one with hosting a free yoga practice for the community. Our empty studio becomes quite busy with new people giving us an opportunity to share the love of yoga with them, old clients return, and continuing clients enjoy an all level class on a holiday. Yesterday I loved teaching almost forty friends, and Brian said he enjoyed hearing the laughter from inside the studio.

But, today is my fresh new beginning, my new habit creation, my new mind-set revelation. I am really exhausted from the 2015 "me." I am ready for a guilt free, joy-filled start in 2016. Out with the old drama/trauma and in with a new expectancy.

Here are several firsts for me that I see as my life comes into focus:

  1. Letting go of trying to please people whose expectations are more about them than who I am.
  2. Reaching forward to learning more about myself through meditation, counseling, and quiet prayer time.
  3. Being the right weight, body appearance, appropriate size without put downs or self deprecating thoughts.
  4. Taking time each day to nourish my soul with reading good books and listening to what I really need for that moment.
  5. Refusing to allow "fear" to rule and reign any longer by choosing "love" as compassion, empathy, and self-preservation.
  6. Laughing more and crying less...frankly, I just cannot change the unchangeable.
  7. Walking more to make me feel released from the worry wheel. There is just something to say for movement by learning to let it go.
  8. Not being offensive with my language, but adding a few appropriate remarks to those control freaks who refuse to accept me as I am. I am not who I once was, nor will I ever be again. I really like myself better this way.
  9. Living each day, each hour, each minute in a healthy way without the need to stuff the anxiety filled emotions inside where my jaw tightens and my throat jams shut. I think it must be my communication chakra ready to explode.
  10. The perfect "ten" must include yoga. I am so very thankful for this tool in my virtual toolbox. It benefits me in so many ways. I am not who I used to be because yoga has taught me to be "who I am." I am peace. I am joy. I am love. I am strong. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am happy. I am...
A new list will begin here of who "I am.." no longer ruled by fear, guilt, and the expectations of others. Welcoming new beginnings, new habits, new mind-sets. Thank you, God, for the lessons of 2015; they were unbearable at times, but they are over. Welcome, 2016!