Happy May! To get the month started, I’ve created a yoga and wellness checklist for my followers. I invite you to switch up your routine and try some new things this month. You may find something you like!
How many things can you check off?
Practice a new style of yoga (Vinyasa, Yin, etc.)
Practice visualization (close your eyes and think of your favorite place)
Meditate for 5 minutes
Close your eyes and listen to a sound-healing meditation (I love finding videos on YouTube. Check this one out)
Dedicate your yoga practice to yourself
Dedicate your yoga practice to someone else that you want to send love and positive energy to
Put together a playlist of your favorite songs (maybe practice yoga to it, play it in the car, listen in the shower. Find some of mine here.)
Practice yoga in a new space (roll out your mat in a different room in your house, try a new studio, get outside)
Tell someone how much they mean to you AND show them
Make a gratitude list
Deep breathing exercise (come to an easy seat or lay down, place one hand to your heart and the other to your stomach. Inhale for the count of 4, hold it at the top, and then exhale out for the count of 4. Continue until you reach a 6 or 7 count)
Give someone a compliment
Smile at a stranger
Get rid of something you no longer need (spring cleaning time!)
Create boundaries (this will look different for everyone)
Happy May! Tag me in your ‘May Checklist’ pics! Follow me on Instagram here and use #MayChecklist
In a yoga class we know that the teacher will most likely offer hands-on assists. I always ask my students ahead of time for consent before assisting them because their answer might change day-to-day depending on how they’re feeling or what’s going on. I will never give assists if I’m feeling under the weather. Something important to note: if you decide half-way through the class you don’t want hands-on assists anymore just let the teacher know. It’s your practice and you have to feel comfortable.
The biggest thing I want students to know is that if a teacher comes around and gives you an assist it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. While yoga instructors do come around and help students properly get into a pose for safety purposes, we also want you to find an even deeper expression of the posture (I like to come around and give mini massages to help students relax more).
I wanted to share a few tips on how to give yourself a few assists to help you get that deep stretch! These are great to try if you practice yoga at home or go to a studio and aren’t getting hands-on assists from the instructor.
Supine Twist: You may hear the instructor cue both arms out wide, but I like to use one of my hands to encourage my knee closer towards the mat (or a block). Continue pressing your shoulders into the mat while pressing your knee down. Turn your head to the opposite direction for the added neck stretch!
Butterfly or Baddha Konasana: This pose (as any) will look different in everyone’s bodies. Some may be able to fold forward while others can simply tilt their head. This is a great hip opening pose (sometimes I put a block under each knee for added support). Today, I wanted to show you a way you can deepen this hip opening. Place your hands on your ankles and use your elbows to send your knees closer to the mat.
Supine Figure Four or Supine Pigeon: This is all about stretching your quads and hamstrings. For a hip opening and IT Band stretch, place one hand behind your knee to bring your knee closer to you. Place the older hand on your crossed knee to push it away from you.
Downward Facing Dog: When you get to your downward facing dog, peddle out your legs and use your breath here to assist you. On your inhale lift your hips high and on your exhale drop your heels down (it’s okay if they don’t touch your mat).
We all know that each and every one of us is going through some shit. Times get tough and it’s easy to loose sight of what’s important. I’ve recently found myself “too busy” and making excuses of reasons why I can’t step onto my yoga mat. I’ve decided to start a yoga challenge during the month of June that is all about owning your shit. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Creating a challenge allows me to hold myself accountable for stepping onto my mat and the same goes for you! Stepping onto your yoga mat doesn’t mean that you have to do any chatarungas or master crow pose. It means that you take time out of your day for yourself… to process everything you’re going through or maybe try and forget everything. Whatever the reason may be, I invite you to join in on this challenge. Taking some time out of your busy day to do something for yourself is necessary. You might have to set your alarm a few minutes earlier or turn off that Netflix show a little sooner, but it will be worth it, I promise.
If you want to join the challenge, follow me on Instagram here and watch my Stories for daily posts.