Hungry Yoga Teacher

This summer has been a summer of exciting beginnings and reluctant endings. My father passed away at the beginning of summer, which was an unexpected blow mainly because I wasn’t prepared for losing him. On reflection though, there are few circumstances where we’re fortunate enough to be prepared for the loss of a loved one. My dad was my mother’s primary caregiver since she became ill years ago. We’ve all been so focussed on mom’s waxing and waning health that dad’s situation took our family and his friends by surprise.

I wasn’t sure if this summer was the best time to complete my yoga teacher training, but it was the best thing I could have done for myself. (also dad would have insisted that I finish what I started!) The process was rigorous; physically, mentally and emotionally draining. As an exercise in processing grief and loss, I can’t recommend yoga study enough.

Yoga study and practice has been giving me comfort, strength and stability. But I’ve also been enjoying comfort food…a lot. As those of you who live in yoga wear know, sometimes it’s hard to keep on top of those extra lbs when your yoga pants are body shapers — mine are! I’ve been in a bit of denial about the weight gain, but increasingly I’ve noticed that I’ve been saying to myself; “I look puffy in that pic!” Today I was in the yard with my boy who was taking pickies for me for a yoga teacher bio (I’m teaching at a studio starting next week!). As I was going through the pics I realized that it’s not that I’ve been having unflattering pics taken….I’ve gained weight. The realization made me hungry for some cookie dough.

Image credit: Caudia Rowe's THE HUNGRY BUM YOGA BOOK

Image credit: Caudia Rowe’s THE HUNGRY BUM YOGA BOOK

So my self care for September is going to involve eating healthier… and less. And accepting that feeling hungry isn’t a terrible thing. I may feel hungry for comfort foods, but my body needs to reflect on WHY I’m needing comfort in that moment.

3 types of pain in the butt and what you can do about it

I’m a Canuck and we tend to prefer the word, “bottom” over “butt”…though I think it’s a generational thing because in my recent yoga teacher training, one of the younger students exclaimed, “You’re such a MOM!” when I directed her to squeeze her bottom (rather than butt). LOL

That’s why I’ve added this little tutorial for your interest and amusement:

 

 

Here’s the YOGA:
Sweet yoga 411 from the  Olga Kable!

“A literal pain in the butt can make it difficult to walk, sit and sleep comfortably. Sometimes we unknowingly exacerbate it by stretching the injured area…..” CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO READ MORE!

via 3 types of pain in the butt and what you can do about it.

Yoga Teacher Training!

Just finished Phase 1 of a 3-step yoga teacher training! There’s so much to know, but truth be told, the volume of 411 in this program is what attracted me to it.

yoga fistIn 2006 I flirted with teacher training, but I was in the thick of grad school and thought my interest might be a thesis escape fantasy! Fast forward to 2014 and here I am at teacher training.

Not sure where I’ll end up as a teacher, but I’m very interested in working with older adults, people with limited mobility, and athletes. The program I’m completing focusses a lot on teaching customized yoga practice for students. The idea of creating bespoke yoga for my (future) clients motivates and excites me. I’ll use this blog to write about my thoughts and discoveries, if you don’t mind. :) I’ll also continue to find yoga funnies for you too!

 

Best Christmas Yoga Santa

I’ve been looking for a Yoga Santa image to share with you folks for a few days and tonight my search ended, thanks to the Flying Yogini, Nancy Alder! She posted the image below and I love it so much that I had to share it with you:

 

Santa yoga

I tried to find the original source, but the only other place I have found it has been on the Russian Hatha website I got this one from…if you know the creator, please let me know!

Rhomboid Talk: Not all push-ups are the same

I caught my reflection in the mirror while in hot yoga the other day and I didn’t like what I saw. I’d just initiated my Chaturanga Dandasana and as I glanced up to look at the instructor who was in front of the mirror, I noticed how rounded my shoulders were. When I tried to roll them back, it didn’t seem to make much difference at all.

My background is synchronized swimming. I trained for nearly ten years as a competitive athlete and, while we were coached to keep our shoulders back, I think my swimming training assisted in developing my natural tendency towards a super-developed trapezius muscle and pectoralis major, both of which can contribute to the “muscleman slouch”.

I’ve been reading about ways that I can improve my posture on the mat, and off, because the slouch also contributes to neck tension and headaches. According to TNation.com our rhomboids are the key to solving this problem. TNation calls the rhomboid the “back’s designated driver: you really should appreciate it, but, well, you forget.”

Why — of all muscles — should I focus on the rhomboid? Its sole purpose is to retract my shoulder blades, which lies at the heart of my slouchy shoulders problem. Like many things in life, the rhomboid weakens from lack of use, so if, like me, you need to activate it, exercises are in order.

I found this YouTube video (below) from Ted Loos, in which he reviews an exercise called, “The Rhomboid Push-up”. I tried 10 before writing this and I can see how this might be a beneficial exercise.


This special push-up couldn’t come at a better time either — my friend, Barbara, a coach from Fukumoto Fitness – currently has a 15 push-ups for 30 days challenge. I do believe I’m adding these rhomboid push-ups to the mix. Will report in a few weeks to update you on the results!

Snow-ga: Yoga practice in the snow

Woke this morning to almost three inches of gorgeous, white,fluffy snow on every surface outside. I was expecting it because the snow started just before midnight on my walk home from a house party. Still, I was unprepared for how serene and peaceful the year’s first snow would be. The sight and sensation catches me every year.

A while back — in the heat of summer — I remember talking to friends about “cold yoga.” It doesn’t exist as far as I can tell, but the idea of practicing in a chilled environment has stuck with me..

In my search for a snow-ga video this morning, I found this gorgeous YouTube vid from OTM Yoga (Off the Mat, Into the World), a non-profit organization that promotes yoga-inspired activism and grassroots social change. OTM snow-ga

As I write, the snow continues to fall, reminding me that I need to dig out my shovel and uncover the walkway and stairs. I think I’ll bring my mat outside too for some snow-ga of my own. ;)