Sip on your Self Care Saturday treat as we wind down from another beautiful day! Mint is an amazing herb that helps to cool excess heat in the body, which can look like aggravated digestion, red skin, or even heated emotions. As we find ourselves in the midst of warmer days, cool down body and mind with this refreshing, cooling tea.
* 2 cups of Water
* 3-4 springs of fresh mint or 2 mint tea bags
After bringing water to a boil, let it cool for 1 minute, then pour into mug over fresh mint or tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes and enjoy
For this week's Wellness Wednesday, take the time to reflect on the idea of forgiveness. Maybe it's something you need to ask of someone or something you can give, perhaps it's a bit of both. Guilt and anger wear away at us, just like water wears away rock to create a Glen or, given enough time, a Canyon. Emotions we hold onto for too long affect us deeply.
So reflect on forgiveness and choose one or both prompts
Write a letter to someone who you think needs your forgiveness. Discuss what they did and how it made you feel, and then forgive them and let it go.
OR write a letter to someone asking for their forgiveness. Discuss what you did and how it may have affected this person, and then forgive yourself and let it go.
Ah...the chair. One of the most amazing, underappreciated props. Perhaps the most common statement I hear whenever I include the chair in my classes is, "This isn't chair yoga is it?" Certainly, the chair makes yoga accessible for people who wouldn't otherwise try yoga and just plain makes things more comfortable for everyone. But, the truth is, the chair can be used for more than just chair yoga!
You can use the chair to help you build strength, increase your range of movement, and sink into deeply restorative postures. Go forth and explore the many ways you can play with the chair in your yoga practice.
Seated Figure 4 Twist - Place your ankle just past your thigh, and turn your chest away from your bent leg. Stay for a few breaths, and if you'd like to explore more, play with sliding the forearm of the same side down towards the arch of your foot. Feel comfortable? Bring your hands into a prayer position. Pro Tip! Your palms should be in the center of your chest, not to one side or the other. If they are to one side, go back to the position in the middle picture.
Side Plank - (Pro Tip: Place a blanket across the chair for cushion) Frame the chair with your lower legs - a little above or below the knee based on what's comfortable for you. With your forearm on the ground lift your hips into a side plank position.
Challenge Pose - Play with the bottom leg's position, either bringing the knee in towards your chest, or sweeping the leg straight out in front of you
The bolster is a fun additional prop to play with here. If you don't have a bolster stack a few pillows and wrap them in a blanket (so they don't shift around too much on you)
This evening, play a little Bingo - self care edition! Are there any self care practices you can check off on your bingo sheet from today? Did you check off an entire row? Or maybe none at all?
Be playful with your self care and see what you can include in your day tomorrow!
Happy Wellness Wednesday Yogis! Find a comfy spot on this beautiful day and take few moments to check in with yourself.
Here's today's prompt:
Reflect on a time in your life that was particularly tough. It could be a particular event that comes to mind or a general sense of challenge that you remember. Sit with any emotions you recall from that time - maybe frustration, fear, loneliness, anger. When you're ready, write out words you wish someone had said to you at that time.
Whenever you face a future challenge or just need unconditional love and support, return to this list of words/sentences.
A yoga strap is such a great addition to your yoga practice! It can act as a support in different postures, helping you utilize hard to find muscles. Or, it can help hold you so you don't have to and give you a sense of release.
Look below for more creative ways to use a strap in your practice and sequences you can put together!
Warrior 3 - Place the strap behind you and step into it. Rock your weight forward and press your foot strongly into the strap as you hinge from the hips. Lift the foot an inch off the ground or as high as your hip into Warrior 3
Playful Challenge - Boat to L-Sit
Tip forward from Boat Pose, pressing into your hands to lift your hips and legs off of the ground. Press into the strap to help support you.
Self care comes in so many different shapes and sizes. Don't limit your self care to just exercise. Expand your definition to include taking the time to meditate, going for a walk, eating something delicious. Speaking of delicious, we can get you started! This is one of our favorite smoothies to make at home, and we hope you savor it to the last drop!
It's time for Wellness Wednesday! Grab a journal, find a comfortable seat, and take a few minutes to connect with yourself.
Ready? Here ya go!~~~~
Think about spending a day doing only the things that make you feel excited, happy, engaged, or fulfilled. Write a list of everything you would include in this day, from the time you wake up until you go to bed at night. Then read your list and choose at least one item to incorporate into your schedule tomorrow.
Props are a wonderful way to enhance your practice - either by adding elements of support or mixing up the variables to build strength and stability. This week we're exploring creative ways to use a blanket in your yoga practice. Below you'll find postures that build strength, offer support, and encourage a sense of calm, all using a blanket!
Don't have a blanket? You can find the blankets we have at our studio here:
Swiveling Table - feet active, knees hip width distance apart. At top of mat, place blanket on wood with hands at least shoulder width distance. Squeeze in on the legs to stabilize the pelvis, and sweep the blanket from side to side. Try to avoid swaying the hips as well and letting them "bump" to one side.
Want to play? You can link these 3 poses together in a flow. Starting in Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend, squeeze the legs together as you lift your hips high, then push the feet back into Plank Pose. From Plank, step on foot forward and come up into Warrior 2.
Challenge Pose: Swiveling Plank
From Plank Pose, keep your shoulders over your hands, as you sweep your left foot in front of the right, then switch. Remember to breathe easy!
Belly Pose - This is a great position for aiding in digestion, as your breath moves your body against the blanket, which massages your digestive tract. Additionally, this face down position naturally calms the nervous system - helping you to feel more grounded and protected.
Place a folded blanket across your mat. Lay on the blanket with your belly button *on* the blanket. Make sure your belly button isn't above or below the blanket, but on the the blanket. In this position, you'll be able to feel the blanket with each breath. Take a few easy breaths, it can feel a little unusual and uncomfortable at first. If you can't get settled after a little bit, then shift until you feel better. Then, with the head supported by stacked hands, or with one cheek on the ground, allow your breath to become longer, especially on the exhale. Stay here for up to 5 minutes.
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and this time in isolation, in quarantine, shows us just how important mental health is. To raise awareness and show support, we'll be dedicating Wednesdays to wellness check-ins.
What's that mean? Every Wednesday, we'll post a journaling prompt intended to help you check in with yourself through reflection. Reflection that comes from journaling can improve mental health because it's a place you can unload your uncensored thoughts without judgment. Journaling provides an outlet, helps gain perspective, and identifies triggers and patterns.
This week, pick ONE positive word you’d like to focus on and brainstorm a list of things you can do to bring this positive word into each day. At the end of the week, take a moment to reflect/journal on how it impacted your week and how you feel.