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Carmen Aguilar cyogalife cyogalife Posts

🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣6️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #PuppyPose or #UttanaShishosana variant 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 Watch closely this Puppy Pose variation, see the toes resting on the palms. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but, I can assure you, it is. This is one of those poses that’s more ​lethal​ than it looks so, let’s study it a bit, see where we get: the best thing about it is that you can easily modify and walk feet as far as needed. Make sure you’ve warmed up back & neck properly (I mean that!), lie on the belly, arms along the body, then scoop them under, palms up. Curl toes, lift knees and butt, then walk feet as close in as possible. As you do that, keep sinking chest & sternum into the ground, trying actively to bend from there. Allow hips to align above shoulders, and make sure your weight doesn’t go up to the chin. The more you walk in, the more the ribcage will want to rise so, remind yourself to keep pressing sternum/chest into the mat, instead of crushing it with the jaw and putting unnecessary pressure in the neck. To try the option in the pic, once you feel comfortable walking feet to fingertips, lower on your knees for a moment, ‘cup’ those curled toes with palms, press STRONGLY against them to lift knees and butt high up once more, then breathe there a few times, sinking the chest yet again. If you tend to slide, #practice against a wall (face away from one, but stay close so heels can rest there). When exiting, try to walk out, rather than plummet down (I did it, a few times, in the beginning... ). Like yesterday’s, this is also a great prep pose for Chin Stand, even tomorrow’s Forearm Balance, as it’ll train the neck & upper spine to bend properly. Let me know what happens! Good luck and keep going, we’re almost there!!! For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣5️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #Bridge or #SetuBandhasana variant 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 Last few days and last 4-group too...here we go! Make sure you warm up your neck specially (back too), before attempting it. The most immediate way to enter would be from Bridge, bring palms next to ears, fingers pointing down, like you were about to press into Wheel but, instead of lifting all the way up, just rest on the crown. Carefully lower one arm at a time to hold the ankles, ground strongly through the feet and roll on the head, stretching throat, vocal cords, front of the neck and chest. Stop if it bothers your cervicals, even back off a bit if needed. When practiced on a sticky mat, it gives a firmer sensation but, if you’re still unsure, modify and do one arm & leg at a time. Remember you’re not trying to push ​down​ but rather ​roll​ on the head, like a ball, so you won’t get tension in the neck. There’s a lot of mental apprehension against this variant. I know too well, I was there myself. If you warm up thoroughly the neck in all directions, feel your legs solid and sturdy, impossible to move, and roll gradually (speed is your enemy here, for many different reasons!), it’s quite yummy. Once you’ve taken a few breaths, expanding all along the front of the body, chin to kneecaps, return palms on the mat, next to ears, then roll out in slow motion. It’s also a great prep pose for any kind of Chin stand (less intense too). Time to unroll that mat, #practice it and let me know below of any issues, maybe I can help. Your turn... For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣4️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #RajakapotasanaII 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 This is a very complete #backbend as it works both the flexibility and strength aspect in equal measure. Back suppleness was never my forte, but the low spine was also a weakness in my practice. No matter how many hours I put, I seemed to never get ahead. Truth is, I WAS getting better, only not at the speed I thought appropriate. From experience, placing a thick block or folded blankets under the low belly until your thighs rest completely on the ground, will help tremendously develop sturdiness and muscle memory. Once you warm up quite a bit, go into Bow #Dhanurasana) and hold feet/ankles, lifting chest up like a snake. Continue to raise, push pubic bone into the ground, crawl fingers up lower legs, towards kneecaps (looong distance!!). One thing you’ll notice happening as you get better is that, you’ll be able to start from a ‘higher’, aka closer to knees, position, less crawling will be needed, you’ll exert less and, once you get a strong grip of the knee bones, extending the legs will be immediate. Relax head back, breathe fully a few times, expand chest/ribs as much as you can. Maintain that ‘pulling back’ sensation with the legs as you bend them to touch the crown. This is a tough moment because, if you don’t have enough strength & bendiness, you’ll fall on the belly. Like I said, use props at first, or bend one leg at a time as the other presses on the floor. This was years in the making for me and I continue to practice it almost daily so, approach it with a long term perspective and let’s see what we can do today. Comments ⤵. Have a wonderful #practice and keep going... final days!! For alternatives, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣3️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #Kapotasana variant 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 This Kapotasana variation is more accessible than the regular pose (less shoulder work), but more challenging than Laghuvajrasana (because of the arms going over). You can do it with shins parallel to each other, or connecting inner heels. The second alternative is more forgiving for the flexors but try both and let me know which you prefer. After a thorough warm up, go into Camel (if you attempt the easier version, place lower legs in a diagonal, connecting big toes from the get go), start sending arms overhead like you’d do when dropping into Wheel. Find the ground or use the back strength to hover in the air, go for the feet, then ideally, ankles. Curl toes under so it’s easier to grab them from below. Keep lifting chest up & away as the arms pull head/forehead closer to heels. Continue to thrust pelvis forward, notice the length happening all along the front of the body, chin to kneecaps. Think about expanding (ribcage, abs, thighs, chest, throat...), rather than contracting (gluts, hamstrings, low back...). There’s definitely tonicity in the back of the body, but approach it with easiness rather than tightening up. It’s not an obvious lesson to learn and, especially in today’s world where we’re used to fight for things, compete to achieve certain goals, some mental restructure has to happen so, give it time, truly take care of yourself, be curious and see where today’s #practice takes you... Feel free to comment ⤵ how it goes. For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣2️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ Standing #Backbend or #Anuvittasana 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 This #backbend is favorite and I tend to include it a lot in my challenges because it teaches plenty of valuable lessons: an incredible leg activation and how to lift the arch higher, being 2 of the most important ones. Once you’ve warmed up, stand with feet hip width (more if needed, correct that overtime), lift arms overhead, lace fingers, indexes pointing up, separate ribs from hips, lengthen abs and lumbar region, look up, then start to arch up & back. As you go, it’s important to not cave into the usual habits of bending legs & arms, stop lifting, guide with the neck, breathe erratically,... to name a few. Let quality over quantity prevail so, even if you arch 20 degrees away from the vertical line, reach that angle comfortably, lengthen the spine, maintain a strong leg activation, allow arms to guide you further, shoulders away from ears and head leaning gradually. It’s a very common sensation to feel way lower than we actually are (when we look at our pic we can’t believe our eyes, right?). There’s no better advice than consistent practice and give the body time to open. Use a wall behind for support and gradually step away from it, until you won’t touch at all. When you manage to stay here comfortably, landing smoothly into Wheel is the next step or, if you’re working on holding your heels in that #backbend, the straighter the legs, the more forward the hips and the higher the chest, the deeper the arch to make it happen. I know it’s not easy, but if you incorporate it consistently 4-5 times minimum, holding each for 6-8 breaths, your #practice will take a huge leap. Time to unroll that mat and start putting the time... comment below issues or how it goes!! Good luck! For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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Announcing September’s challenge: #LevelRebel. Balancing is one of the most exhilarating, and sought after, qualities to cultivate. It can also be frustrating and annoying, I know! This month we’ll be working on poses that involve some balancing skills, we’ll invert, balance on the hands, toes, forearms,... we’ll analyze how flexibility affects equilibrium and vice versa so, when you cultivate one, the other will increase too. Finding balance in the body will also make us seek the same in our minds and breath. You’ve probably noticed how, when you steady your thoughts, fix the gaze, calm the breath, then enter a pose, you do it better than without preparation. If you extrapolate that to the whole practice, then take that feeling outside the mat, you accomplish more things than usual, feel less tired, more grounded and n-synched with life. My main goal is not so much you achieve this or that pose, which is great, but only a small part, the main one is to feel more calmed, focus, centered and continue to do so after we’re finished. If we manage to get all that done having a great time in the process (I’ll try my best), even better! As I’ve been doing for a few months now, I’ll be opening a daily dialog so you can write comments/questions on my posts and I’ll do my best to answer them promptly! As usual: follow @cyogalife repost this, comment, tag friends (easier to finish!) participate and post using #LevelRebel Besides my daily pose & explanation, fellow yogi helpers Aislinn @yogawithaislinn and Katy @katydoesyoga will provide with further insights and alternatives on each asana. Plus, awesome gifts at the end for the winners!! Join in, we start Sept 1st!!! ☺

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣1️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #FullBow or #PadangusthaDhanurasana 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 Half Frog or #ArdhaBhekasana in #Camel or #Ustrasana The next 4-group is about: 1⃣building enough back strength to lift the arch higher, 2⃣use the legs to help us do that. This Camel version starts to illustrate both ideas: whether in regular Camel or in this one, as you reach back for the heels, hips need to continue to thrust forward as thoracic spine curves and lifts. You’re not really ‘leaning’, but using the ankles as a prop to arch adequately. When folding one leg into Half Frog (knee sensitive people, place extra padding under both), pull foot to gluts or, even better, side of the hip bone, shin as vertical as possible. Flip the grip, so fingers and toes end up pointing in the same direction, use that leverage to, once more, open from the heart center. Relax head and neck, let them follow the curve described. This #backbend feels a little uneven so, to the best of your ability, try to square torso/shoulders/hips to make sure the lumbar area won’t complain. If you #practice it consistently, eventually you’ll be able to hook toes over crest of the hip (takes time, often years). If you notice your back losing strength the moment you fold the leg in, chances are you’re dumping into the low spine. Either back off or use a wall in front (to lean on) or behind (reach free arm overhead and push against it). Check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga for even more modifications/explanations, let me know how it goes. #Keeppracticing, we’re in the final days... you can do this!! . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 2️⃣0️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #FullBow or #PadangusthaDhanurasana 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 The last pose of this 4-group incorporates all the elements worked in the previous 3 days and then some... let’s analyze and break it down a bit to see where we get: after an intense warm up, make sure you’ve included other Eka Pada backbends where the ‘flip grip’ is practiced, lie on the abdomen and repeat the same maneuver, one arm & leg at a time. Use 1 or 2 straps if needed and let’s try both arms & legs. For those able to grab one foot but not quite doing both simultaneously, lace a big strap around the feet, use a block under ribcage, lift arms overhead, elbows pointing forward, then crawl your way closer. That’s a good exercise to open up and it’ll definitely force you to stay in the #backbend longer but, if possible, try grabbing one foot (no strap if you can), then put a small one around the other and hold it for 6-8 breaths, releasing tensions from chest/shoulders/upper back, as well as lengthening hip flexors/triceps/sides of the body. Repeat again starting with other arm. Once you grab both feet you’d think you’re done and the hardest part is over but, at least for me, things have just started.... continue to extend elbows & knees and stretch all 4 limbs towards the sky. Push abs into the ground to keep the arch well in the thoracic spine. Look up and back to help do the same. Avoid opening limbs too wide, keep the whole thing ​contained​ and make sure to ‘listen’ to the arms when legs try to pull higher. Progress arrives gradually and this is a milestone when it comes to backbending... be patient, soft yet persistent. Comment ⤵what issues you encounter or how it goes. Time to unroll that mat... For alternatives, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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Have you been shadow banned? Same here. For some reason, I’ve received quite a few messages from people desolated about it. Tragedy? What should I do? Well, if you ask me: get a grip, reevaluate priorities, make a plan and keep going. Instagram is, hopefully, a minuscule aspect of our lives. As a yoga teacher, it’s a good marketing tool that can help open some doors (you still have to do a good job to get a second/further invite) but, nowadays, there’s so much noise everywhere that those that scream most for attention, or those that the algorithm approves as “legit”, are the ones likely to be heard. Luckily, you can always count on human nature: humans are ALWAYS going to get tired of things, monotony will kick in, plus, we love new stuff. Facebook got overpowered by Instagram (if Facebook hadn’t bought Instagram, it’d have extinct like a dinosaur, only much faster), and Instagram will eventually become boring, tedious (for some of us it kinda is…), or, some genius, fresh with ideas will come up with the ‘next thing’, and we’ll continue to ride that wave. As much as we try to resist change, change is inevitable. Even if Instagram stopped meddling and making up rules to ‘help’ users, people’s minds would still move on to something else, because that’s how we are. Or, as a yoga teacher, don’t you find challenging to keep your students motivated and interested? Same happens here. Instagram helped me make some initial connections but has no impact whatsoever on any relationship I’ve grown overtime. It’s up to us to stay in touch and keep cultivating those friendships. Nothing, no influencer or paid advertisement, will be as trusted as a word of mouth. For 11 years, until I stopped to open a studio, I had 18-22 privates weekly, had to turn down some all the time, and never spent a dime on advertisement. Big or small, with or without social impact, what you do, who you are, carries way more weight than views or likes. Don’t let numbers diminish your confidence or make you feel worthless. Keep shining on. 🌟 I realize it’s kinda ironic that I’m writing this on this platform… a little message in a bottle, even if the currents won’t let it get far. Or will it?💥🤘🏻

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 1️⃣9️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #Kapotasana variant 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 Just like in yesterday’s pose, using a wall to assist, is a great idea to modify according to our personal needs. I remember I couldn’t do this because my low back hurt too much to hold it. The wall helped tremendously to connect with the front of the body, lift chest higher, thrust pelvis forward, straighten arms and completely decompress the lumbar part. At least, use this exercise as a prep and see if it works: kneel facing away from a wall, shins parallel to each other, press strongly legs against floor, all the way to the top of the feet, lift ribs away from hips, drop shoulders down, relax head back and let arms go over. Find wall with tips or palms, keep pushing away from it, at all times, I mean that!! Use the breath to help increase arch in the mid spine, while continuing to send hips over kneecaps. Maintain arms as straight as possible. First indication that you’re about to dump in the low back is when you bend them. If you can’t fully do that, walk hands up the wall (scoop closer if needed) to an angle where you can, then work your way down until eventually you’ll reach the ground or even walk close to feet. There’s no rush, be consistent and it’ll happen. This is a doable #backbend! You could also press up from a Reclined Hero, the same way you’d do to come into Wheel, though, whenever I teach it, people have more difficulties lifting and thrusting pelvis forward, than if you start from Camel. Comment below any questions or how it goes... your turn to practice!! For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 1️⃣8️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #EkaPadaPadangusthaDhanurasana or #Natarajasana variant 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 A lot of things can be said about this #backbend, let’s try to cover as many as possible in this caption: after a good back, shoulders & flexors warm up, grab a strap if needed and lay on belly, like you’d do for Cobra. Lace strap around foot, or grab it flipping the grip, point elbow to the front, rock forward until the upper part of chest & triceps rest down. Use the free hand and back foot to help you do that (it’s not obvious, the body will want to roll out so you’ll have to really push forward!). Bring arm forward, elbows close to face, bend them and reach both hands to grab upper foot. Keep pulling it towards the head. Curl back toes, stretch that leg and walk foot in as much as possible, so hips reach their highest point (the higher they are, the further the leg going overhead will get, so chances to touch sole-to-crown will increase). Another thing that happens when hips go above ribcage, is that the arch moves deep in the thoracic spine and the floor will assist, making sure the opening remains in place and arms won’t move. The closer the elbows, the tougher it gets, but the forearms will be at the optimum angle to touch the crown (if they splay wide you won’t reach the toes). Another prop that’d help BIG time would be a wall behind so, the foot, instead of on the ground, could climb on it (the higher, the easier), hips & front leg could reach more forward and you’d find the head sooner. As you get more open, lower foot gradually. This is an interesting and complex asana, comment ⤵how it goes or if you have any questions. Have a great #practice, let’s go! For further alternatives, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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🌴🦎🏋🏻‍♂️Day 1️⃣7️⃣ of #BendAsNeeded with @cyogalife ➡️​​ #Fish or #Matsyasana 🏋🏻‍♂️🦎🌴 In this next 4-group, we’re going to use the floor to help us move the arch into the desired areas. Today’s pose isolates the opening along the upper spine, chest and heart. Lie down and place hands under butt, scoop elbows below torso and press with forearms to lift arch higher. Rest crown of the head on the floor (barely any weight there) and continue to roll shoulders down & back. To activate low back, raise legs to a 45 degree angle, keep them together and straight. If that’s too much, or feel the spinal arch decreasing, lower or rest them back down. Use the ground to push strongly against it and guide the arch into the back of the heart. Stay a few breaths with the intention of opening up all across the front of the body (throat to abs). Make sure you’re not yanking the neck trying to go deeper. A little more complicated variant you could try, would be to do the same pose, only with arms overhead. Since you’ll no longer have the arm support, the spine will need to raise and curve on its own. If you’d rather take it easy and tone it down, put a block under the thoracic, between the blades, let head & arms hang, gravity will help go further gradually. For those with neck issues, place extra padding under it, so the cervical angle won’t be as intense. As I’m sure you know, this is a fantastic pose to start your backbend #practice, or unwind from forward folds. It’s a favorite among practitioners (me included!) to chill in, especially with a block. Which one is your fav resting/medicinal backbend? Comment below and enjoy today’s practice!! For alternatives and further explanations, check out @jinny.suh.00 and @gmcyoga. . Upcoming workshops: 🐲 9/19-29 Seoul, Korea 🦁 10/3-6 Singapore 🐠 10/8-13 Bali 🐉 10/17-20 Seoul, Korea 🧘🏻‍♀️ For more info, visit cyogalife.com. For online classes go to vimeo.com/cyogalife/vod_pages

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