If you have 20 minutes you can spend with me it will change how you are practicing yoga!
Join me for a quick how to session. Downward Dog and Plank are staple poses in any yoga class, and many sync the two in small flows, however few really transition properly and effectively for the most core load and benefit to the body.
If you have 20 minutes you can spend with me it will change how you are practicing yoga!
We all have 5 minutes right? I know I do, and this core video is 5 minutes well spent! What would happen if you spent 5 minutes like this every day?
Love your core, abdominal's, obliques, back and smoken mid-section!
Shoulders hurt, neck tight, headache, jaw pain. You are not alone, we exercise and work out and even in the yoga community many have forgotten about release as a major part of healthy and harmony in the body. Join Hope for a detailed step by step 25 min yoga session dedicated solely to the neck and shoulders, stretched the right way. Sit in a chair, on the floor or combine them into yoga postures. Today is the day you start to feel better!
To all my friends out there that have felt this way, need not worry there is light at the end of the tunnel.
1. You find yourself or overhear others say that you are continually doing the same drab thing over and over again.
2. Your cues are monotone and very blah, there is no excitement in your voice and find you are not trying to really go that extra mile.
3. You dread coming in to teach. Yes sometimes family, and other commitments get in the way and we have to step back, but if it’s all in your head then it’s time to address it.
4. You snap at students over simple little comments or questions they have feeling as though they should already know the answer.
5. You are getting sick all the time, sickness is not random our immune system and nervous system react to how we deal with stress or don’t deal with stress, so if you’re sick your body has found a way for you to slow down the only way you will listen.
6. You yourself are not attending classes or giving variety to your personal practice, heck you don’t even have one at this point.
7. You find yourself eating junky food, and not taking the time to do to yourself what you say others should do to themselves.
8. You just don’t show up, and worst you forget or just flat out don’t get a sub.
9. Your body hurts, you are constantly hurting yourself and worse yet you are unwilling to point the finger at yourself as the teacher.
10. Finally, your personal practice is forceful, and angered or boring and unmotivated, leaving you more hostile or withdrawn than you were before.
How to fix it:
1. Cut down on the amount of classes you teach. Ever heard of burn out, well it happens a lot even in you are a yoga teacher. Every six months I have learned I need to take some time to step back and breathe and reevaluate my schedule and if I need to make a change.
2. Take a break! Yes, maybe you need a leave of absence from teaching all together to allow yourself the time off to prioritize your schedule and maybe figure out if you still want to teach at all.
3. Prioritize your personal practice. What makes a good teacher is not necessarily the training they take (although a good one surely sets the foundation) but how they continue to stay a student. At our studio we have a once a month rule, we ask that students find time to come to a class at least one time a month at the studio, this helps get their face out there, learn new tricks and keep up their personal well-being.
4. Get involved in other activities, just because you teach the mighty yoga does not mean you can’t enjoy other activities as well, like: walking, hiking, biking, tennis, swimming, camping, crafting, scrapbooking, sewing, soccer, cooking, being a mom or dad. When you find balance you enjoy more of what you do.
5. Stop and eat, yes eat good foods, nourishing foods. When is the last time you actually asked your body what do you want to eat today. Let go of the picture that you need to be a raw foodie or vegan to be a good soulful yogi. Eating what your body needs is more important than restricting foods you think it shouldn’t have, or only filling it with well, crap.
6. Delegate, do you have so much going on that you’re drowning a slow miserable death? Dig yourself out by delegating tasks that you just don’t need to be doing. We often feel we have to do it all, but in all reality doing it all does not allow you to do what you do best to the best of your ability. God gave us all different talents so we can work together as a team.
7. Get enough sleep, harder than it looks many of us simply trade sleep for mindless activities like watching T.V. and then pay for it the next day when we don’t get up early to practice or are crabby because we short changed ourselves the deep slumber we need to recharge our batteries.
8. Practice saying yes and no. Which one do you struggle to say? Work on saying these simple yet powerful words and take note on what you need to work on saying more of. Trying to help everyone else and neglect yourself will only work for so long, so is it yes or no?
9. Establish some sort of daily devotional time. Reading the bible or yoga sutras, a daily devotional book, journal, meditate and or pray. This time will allow you the clarity as to your direction and establish gratitude for your journey, your practice, your teaching and all those who join you.
10. Finally, write down why you love teaching (yoga), why you are passionate about it, and how does it give back to you? If you can’t find anything good to come of it then maybe it’s time to shift directions, and if you have a long list of passionate answers then it’s time to reestablish a schedule and routine that will best serve and honor that.
As a yoga teacher, studio owner, teacher trainer, author and mom, I totally get balance, but I did not at first. And as my duties and life grew fuller, I was unwilling to delegate because I felt so responsible to do it all, than I would get sick, and feel crappy about teaching and was taking it out on loved ones. When I allowed myself to enjoy other things not related to yoga and came to the realization that liking those things did not make me less of a yogi then I was before, part of the burden was lifted. Remember life is always shifting us, and as we grow, things we are doing may need to fall away, teaching certain classes, being a part of certain groups or boards we sit on, friends, jobs, what your personal practice needs, regardless, we must be open to this shift.
We are only fooling ourselves if we think we can do it all, and moreover think we need to, and this goes for everyone. My best moments on the mat are when I am constantly, daily and as a devotee seeking balance in my personal practice, teaching and daily living. Make decisions based on what is best for you and in the end it will be what is best for your students (they just might not know it yet).
This has been such an wonderful summer so far! I feel so blessed at the astounding gifts the Universe has given me. I love deeply seeing so many of my students regularly on their mats even among this wonderful weather we are having!
Lately when i think about yoga, and what it offers me and those around me I am continually blown away by the benefits and how if you let yoga into your life what it can offer you. Lately in my own personal life I have been working to find balance. Not just in how things are right now but in how I know they should be. My nature is to make sure others are happy and content and then check that with myself, however lately I am finding that this method in which I have lived most of my life does not work anymore. That the things I know that must be done or must become a priority will in the end make everyone a lot happier and allow me to give more of myself to everyone than I am right now.
But like I am sure all of you know, change is not easy, in theory yes, but in action not always. In my head my fears often speak up and say "Oh, they won't like that", and I wonder if the choices I am making are the right ones. So time and time again I am back to the philosophy of yoga and reminded continually of the guidance that has yet to fail me (when I actually listen)
Through Yoga we are offered what is called the Yamas & Niyamas or the Ethical Standards on how we conduct ourselves in life and our Self-Disciplines.
The one thing that I personally love about yoga philosophy is that we are not told we are bad, or sinners or that something outside ourselves is the root of the issue, but rather we are asked to look within, and at our actions out on others for solutions towards balance, love and harmony.
I will just pull from a few of the Yamas (actions towards others) today in the hope's of clarity.
The first two Yamas are Ahimsa or nonviolence and the second one is satya or truthfulness. When I initially look at these two yamas I am thinking O.K., don't kill your neighbor, I can do that. And secondly, truthfulness, O.K. don't lie.
"sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me".
In remembering this saying, and applying it to the Yamas of Yoga, I am brought to the conclusion that this saying is crap. Yeah a stick to the eye hurts, but a harsh word to the heart hurts worse. I am by no means perfect, as just this weekend I unintentionally said something in the heat of a simple moment that I should not have said to someone I love deeply, afterwards my ego got in the way and my apology was a bit lame at first, but after a few moments and my heart felt horrible, and I had to step back and learn from the situation and also learn from the other persons reaction as well.
"Do onto others as you want them to do onto you".
How true that is. Now in Satya, or truthfulness, we are asked to act honestly, and we can do this by owning up to our actions, words or shortcomings. The ego would prefer us to stay ignorant and prefer us not to change, the ego likes you acting blindly in life, however, once exposed to the elements of a yogic lifestyle we are not just asked but required by our higher consciousness to own up to what we now know.
I find it extremely challenging to call myself out on my faults and shortcomings, however the more I do this and do this honestly and nonviolently, I find it becomes easier and as a result the hurt that may have come back your way through sticks, stones or words has been stopped dead in it's tracks.
So as you go out today ask yourself in all you do, is this helping or hurting, who benefits from these actions or words, and who is hurt? Yes, some things must be said, but though ahimsa it is how you say it, something that I have learned to do much better than in my past. And finally, be honest, if you have wronged someone, don't cover it up or white lie about it, sure the ego will be bruised but it is much easier to keep track of the truth than it is of all your lies, no matter how big or small, take it from me, it's exhausting.
In Health and Harmony on and off your mat!
Everyone is busy, and not everyone has time for double workouts, join me for this sweaty class featuring the best of yoga combine with light hand weights. Do you think you have what it takes to follow through the entire 75 min class? Lets find out. Get ready to burn calories, build lean muscle, cultivate core strength, gain flexibility and enrich your mind-body connection. Enjoy!
Enjoy a great class right at home! Start your day out right or close out your day with a class to meet everyone's needs. This class focuses on "stiff" bodies. Namaste
Anjaneyasana or what I like to call Deep Lunge is a core staple pose in yoga, one that many will practice several times within a class.
I think for many it's a pose we fly into and fly out of never really noticing what exactly is going on in our bodies in the process.
I remember one of my first yoga DVD's by Shiva Rea, a Sun Salutations Vinyasa, I did love that DVD, however after a while and after I began to dive into learning more about asana and my body I began to recognize that I was falling victim to my tightness and the speed of that DVD.
For many of us, we have landed tight hips, a tight lower back and a weak core, for a number of reason that I am not here to discuss, but lets just say that it is very easy for our practice to start to dance around our limitations, restrictions and weaknesses without even knowing it.
So here is a question "What qualifies as going deeper into the pose?" I use to think that it meant dropping as deep as I can, I never really drew a relationship to what my body was doing to what I needed to be doing or was avoiding.
Let me help you, look at the two pictures below, the one on the left is me sinking deeply in the lunge, and the one on the right is me working more diligently in my restrictive areas of my hips.
The picture on the right is:
So on the left:
To practice this pose:
Side Body Series with Hope Zvara
1. From a kneeling position extend your right leg out to the side and turn your toes forward, anchoring into the outer side of the foot, keep the ankle in neutral and the thigh engaged.
2. With arms at “T” Inhale reach to the right and Exhale slide down the extended leg. Keeping the pelvic-core strong and engaged feel the side body open and extend.
3. Look upwards or down and find a position for the neck in rotation. Continue to breathe and work to reach from the bent knee to the extended arm.
4. Be playful yet mindful of moving the torso open or slightly closed and find where the pose best serves you.
5. Other arm variations: Tuck top arm behind the torso and work to rotate open, rotate the arm inward towards the ear and extend the arm alongside the head and ear. As you rotate the torso open rotate your arm towards the ear.
6. On your next exhale rotate the torso down towards the extended leg. Inhale work to lengthen and exhale work to release deeper. Keep your core strong and allow your hips to press back and you reach towards the leg.
7. Either hold on to the foot with the hand or extend your left arm or both arms beyond the foot to continue the length in the spine and back muscles. If needed prop up on blocks if your hands will not meet the floor. Remain her for ten breaths.
8. Inhale open back up and extend your left arm towards the sky.
9. Pause for two breaths.
10. On your next Inhale draw your body upright with the arms at a “T” position.
11. Exhale and top to the left, placing your left hand under your left shoulder, fingers point away and the fold of the elbow rotates in line with the middle finger.
12. Keep foot (on floor), bottom knee and hand in line with each other and rotate the extended leg to be parallel with the floor, inner foot parallel with the floor (no external rotation).
13. Inhale and lift the right leg up towards hip height. Keep the chest open and the body stacked. Check the lifted leg to make sure you are in line with the hip and the inner thigh is facing the floor.
14. Exhale and lower the leg towards the floor working on contracting the pelvic floor, Inhale and lift the leg back to hip height slowly and controlled, being aware not to let the body shift and move.
15. If you are feeling hip or glute pain, check the rotation of the leg/hip, hip flexor pain work to internally rotate the leg more, glute pain work to open the hip up more.
16. Continue with the lift and lower for 10 times.
17. After the 10th time keep lifted and with a strong torso and obliques pulse the top leg for a small 3” lift ten additional times.
18. Exhale lower the leg to the floor.
19. Inhale, take a moment and Exhale using your core, float back to an upright position.
20. Inhale, and balancing, bring the extended leg back to kneeling.
21. Repeat the opposite side.
22. Repeat the weaker or tighter side implementing 2:1 ratio.
Got 10 minutes? When you exercise effectively the length of time becomes irrelevant. Join Hope for a quick ten minute workout in this great squat series using a weighted ball (don't have a weighted ball use a hand weight or even a soup can). Just ten minutes of breathing and body toning will leave you energized and feeling great about what you accomplished. Make a commitment to this series for a week and see the difference! Choose any one of my other videos to finish up with a great cool-down or yoga sequence. Namaste