Blog

Time for a Break

With so many demands on our time it's easy to forget the importance of taking regular breaks.  Technology can make us feel like we have to be available all the time, but our brains and bodies really do need some down time.  So give yourself permission to watch the clouds for a bit, take your lunch outside (with no cell phone,) stroll through the park, or do whatever your preferred activity is.  You'll feel better for it, I promise!

Training the Glutes

Our glutes are the biggest muscle in the body and responsible for our locomotion, whether walking, running, jumping or turning.  Unfortunately we spend too much time sitting on our glutes, allowing them to weaken.  Weak glutes can contribute to back, hip or knee pain.  So let's fire up those glutes!

Bridges are an excellent place to start.  Lying on the back with bent knees, lift hips toward the ceiling.  Weight can be added to increase resistance. 

Keep the glutes strong to keep you moving with ease and comfort.

What improper posture does


We all know we're supposed to sit and stand up straight, but so much time spent working with computers and cell phones is damaging our posture. So what exactly is happening to our bodies as we slouch?  Our chests collapse and our shoulders roll forward as our necks protrude.  Our lower back pulls out of alignment and our abdominal muscles soften.  All of these things can create neck, back and shoulder pain and weak abdominal and upper body muscles.  Even our mood can be affected and make us feel defeated and depressed.  So let's all take posture breaks throughout the day and reach our arms back, open up our chests and tip our chins up to the ceiling.  Re-align that spine for better health!


Why we want a strong core

Why do we want to train the muscles commonly referred to as the core?  These muscles include the abdominals, the muscles along the spine and the hips.  They support the spine and hold in and protect our internal organs.  They also provide us with balance and stability.  Our functional day-to-day movements start with a stabilized center and our limbs move out from there.  A weak core would result in sloppy movement which could easily cause injury.  Planks and birddogs are some of the best exercises to train this vital muscle group.  They can be done on the wall, a bench or table or down on the floor.  Bring on those planks!

Mindfulness

Mindfulness has become a buzzword, but what does it mean?  In my own words, I would define it as really noticing your experience in the moment.  It's being aware of what's going on in the present time and maintaining focus on that awareness.

  For example, when you're eating a meal mindfully, you would slow down and actually taste the food.  You would notice the texture, flavour, smell and colour of the ingredients.  You would feel the food bringing nourishment to your body and possibly even stop to be grateful for it and offer up thanks.

Or if you're talking with someone, look into their eyes as they're speaking and listen to their words, their body language and the tone of their voice so you can hear more accurately what message they are sending.

I think that by slowing down and being aware of our experience we can have richer, more fulfilling lives.

What is Thai Yoga Massage?

Thai yoga massage is a fully-clothed mat-based type of massage. The masseuse uses hands, elbows, forearms, knees and feet to move energy up and down the client's "sen" lines, or energy lines, bringing the body into balance. The masseuse also stimulates acupressure points and pulls the client into assisted stretches.  By the end of the massage, the client is beautifully relaxed with a deep sense of physical ease and well-being. A wonderful experience indeed!

Importance of Breathing Deeply

Taking slow, deep breaths is so healthy for the body.  With just this simple act we can turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms down the body, reducing the stress response and slowing down our brain waves.  Our minds grow easier, our blood pressure decreases and happy hormones kick in.  And it can be done anywhere!  Try inhaling for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of eight while pulling the breath deep into the lower abdomen.  Ahhhhh.

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

I can't touch my toes

November 1/18


I hear it all the time.  People tell me, "I'd like to try yoga but I'm too old/stiff/heavy/broken in some way."  I smile and shake my head.  Yoga is meant for everybody!  You don't have to touch your toes.  Ever.  In yoga we start from where we are and progress from there.  You can be in a wheelchair or hospital bed and still do yoga.  It's ok to be gentle with yourself and try something new.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

Yoga in the water - so beneficial!

November 2/18

If you've never tried yoga in the water, you're missing out!  Aqua yoga has so many benefits:  balance and range of motion are easier in the water,  joint pain lessens and limb swelling decreases.  And the relaxation is marvelous.  My class members report better sleep, stronger, more flexible limbs and a wonderful sense of well-being.  In fact, I wrote my upcoming book "Teaching Aqua Yoga" so that other yoga instructors and enthusiasts, and even physiotherapists might learn how to use this medium to benefit others.  If you want to learn more, feel free to contact me.  I'd love to hear from you!

The Importance of Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats


We all know the importance of doing our part to protect the environment. From using more paper products, less plastic, changing our light bulbs to LED bulbs to save energy as well as recycling, every little bit helps.

Our yoga mats are no different. Yoga is about taking our mind and bodies to a peaceful place and our mats should reflect that by being eco-friendly.

The good news is that there are many quality eco-friendly yoga mats to choose from. In fact, there are so many mats available today that it’s hard to even know where to get started.

Eco-friendly yoga mats come in many variations and materials, but one thing they are not is plastic. The plastic mats not only disintegrate quickly but no one wants to put their bodies on a sticky mat that is made with toxic material parts.

Now that you know you want an eco-friendly mat, here are some tips to help you find the right one:

Look for a firm mat

Firm mats can be helpful if you have a bad back or any joint pain as it gives you more cushion. This can help you have a natural bridge between your body and the floor and can help you focus on the stretches.

The benefit of a thinner mat is that it’s lighter to carry around. If you want to feel the floor, a thinner mat might work best for you.

The thickness of your mat depends on the type of yoga that you’re practicing as well as what your body type is and what is most comfortable for you.

Traction & Texture

You want traction out of your mat, especially in any of the more strenuous yoga practices, which is why a stickier mat is usually preferred.

There are many eco-friendly options that can meet your need for portability as well as comfort that prevents slipping.

There are different mats that are made from cork and jute that are sturdy, effective and can help keep your balance maintained and help with traction.

The texture of the mat will affect your comfort level and also affect your traction.

A rough-textured mat is usually better than a stickier mat, so you don’t slip while practicing.

Last Longer

Eco-friendly mats are a little more expensive but they last longer than plastic mats.

There are many eco-friendly brands on the market that will last several years before feeling used or need to be replaced.

You can easily find a durable, comfortable, and reasonably priced eco-friendly yoga mat that is the right feel and fit for your body and whichever type of yoga you practice. Do your part in helping the environment by using an eco-friendly yoga mat.


https://www.consumeradvocate.org/yoga-mats




Community

What does community mean to you?  As someone who has moved around a lot in the past, I find myself grateful to be a part now of a solid community.  I think it's a crucial part of living a healthy life to have people you can count on.  A sense of belonging aids in mental and emotional well-being.  Social isolation is known to cause depression.  As winter closes in, here's a quick reminder to make time for friends on a regular basis and don't be afraid to make new friends!

Getting ready for ice season

Winter is coming!  And winter means icy sidewalks.  Time to work on balance and leg and core strength.  It might be a good idea to add balance challenges to your daily routine.  And practice getting up from the floor:  from a seated position, lying on your back and lying on your belly.  You never know how you might land if you take a tumble.

Gratitude

Research shows that people who cultivate a sense of gratitude live healthier lives.  It's good to take time on a regular basis to remember all the good things we have, rather than focussing on the things we don't have.  Gratitude journals, daily prayer or gratitude  meditations are just some of the options available.  What would work best for you?