B.K.S IYENGAR

You have probably heard of B.K.S Iyengar. He was one of the greatest yoga teachers of the world and played an important role in bringing yoga to the West.

photo-bks-iyengar

He was born on 14th December 1918, and was not a healthy child. Influenza left him weak and sickly. He suffered from malaria, TB, typhoid fever and general malnutrition throughout his early years. It was through yoga that he managed to turn his life around.

The father of yoga, Krishnamacharya, happened to be Iyengar’s brother-in-law. He recommended that Iyengar take up yoga in order to heal all his health problems. Iyengar, with no other option, agreed and at the age of 15 moved to Mysore to study under this world renowned teacher.

However their relationship didn’t get off to a great start. Krishnamacharya neglected his young brother, predicting that he would not be successful at yoga because he was so sickly. He gave him the household chores to do and didn’t spend much time teaching him. It was only after Krischnamacharya’s star pupil, Keshavamurthy, left, that he started training Iyengar seriously.

3 years later, Iyengar’s health problems had vanished and he began to teach, with the encouragement of his Guru, Krishnamacharya. Iyengar evolved into an amazing teacher and traveled all around the globe bringing yoga into people’s lives.

After a scooter accident which dislocated his spine, Iyengar introduced the use of props into yoga making it even more accessible to people. Now the focus was on making the pose work for you rather than the other way round, which I think has been a revolutionary thing in yoga.

Iyengar has proven with his own life, how anyone and everyone can practice yoga, however fit or flexible you are. He has shown the possibility of yoga transforming your life physically and all the positive impacts it can have on health problems. Even in his 90s Iyengar continued to practice 3 hours of asanas everyday, which is absolutely crazy!

He really is such an influential character and can be an inspiration to us all. His devotion to yoga and humanity is astounding. I think we can all learn something from him and the life he lead.

I have read Light on Yoga and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Both are really good books and helpful to both beginners and advanced yoga practitioners. They explain the physical aspects of yoga, the asana, and then go much much deeper than that. They outline ways that we can lead a better life: more spiritual, with more kindness and love. Even if we just took one thing away from these books it would make us a much better and kinder person. Reading their books in the entirety will put you on the path to reaching your highest self and enlightenment. 

I would definitely recommend reading them over Christmas and exploring the life of this amazing yogi!

Namaste

IYENGARsm

Other books:
Light on Life
Light on Pranayama
The Tree of Yoga
Core of the Yoga Sutras
Yoga- The Path to Holistic Health

Everyday is a Different Body

Today I had a super good yoga practice. I was feeling strong and present. My drishti was focused and I felt completely immersed in the flow. It was the type of day where everything was aligning for me on my mat and I felt good. 

I came into headstand at the end of the practice and was a little surprised. Only days earlier I had been able to shoot up into headstand with so much ease, yet today I felt shaky and my muscles were straining from the effort. It wasn’t what I was expecting.

IMG_6969

This is just an example of how each time we get on the mat our bodies will be different. Unfortunately we cannot expect our body to do what it was able to do yesterday or a month ago, because our body is different in each and every moment.

In yoga you will sooner or later learn that just because you could do a headstand yesterday, it doesn’t mean you will be able to do it today. It is humbling to realise and respect the fact that our bodies won’t always be able to do what we want.

Even if we know our body can go into headstand, if we know we can power through and with great effort and force get up, maybe it isn’t a good idea. Ask yourself why you want to go into headstand. If it is the ego that wants to get into it just to show off then you should definitely ignore this! Exerting a lot of force in your yoga practice will result in injuries sooner or later. The way is not to push. Listen to your body and work with it to get into a pose.

Maybe it won’t happen today, maybe it will never happen. Maybe your body just isn’t build to do a headstand. But that is ok. Yoga isn’t about the poses anyways, it is about life. 

Yoga is about how we take the lessons we learn on the mat into our lives and expand our awareness.

By practicing yoga we get better at LIFE.

So if you fall that is ok.

We are allowed to fall, to fail, to mess up, make mistakes, try again. That is LIFE!

Tell yourself that daily, and then go have fun!

Release all this seriousness we cling too and go live your life, free of expectations and pressures.

Namaste

If you are interesting in expanding your yoga practice and your life, then I highly recommend this book:

5-Minute Morning Yoga Sequence

I am still recovering from being ill these past couple of days, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my yoga practice. I decided to come up with a super quick and restorative sequence that I could do in the morning and that would also perk me up. I have been doing it today and I actually feel so much better. I listened to my body and did the poses that it needed.

This sequence only takes 5 minutes so can easily be fit into your day. They are gentle poses so you won’t really need a change of clothes, you can just do it wherever you are, as long as there is space on the floor! I have found this yoga flow amazing at restoring balance in my life and releasing negative emotions that I have subconsciously been hanging on too (all the hip openers and backbends are great for this!) Doing this in the morning is perfect to start your day fresh with space for new opportunities.

Start in child’s pose. I always start here. It grounds me for the rest of my practice.

IMG_0898

In child’s pose have your knees wide – about mat distance apart. This creates a beautiful and gentle hip opener for the beginning of the practice. Here you can breath and start to release anything you want too. Child’s pose also stretches out the spine, perfect after a long sleep! Take time to connect to your breath and set your intention here.

Next move into downward facing dog. This pose is a classic yoga pose. It stretches the hamstrings and is a slight inversion, bringing oxygen to your brain and waking you up.

IMG_0897

Peddle out your downward dog if you like. Bring movement to your practice and movement to your morning. Give your body whatever it needs.

So next come into rag doll. This is also an inversion so will flush your brain with even more oxygen. This will wake you up and make space for new creative thoughts in your mind, these will have an impact on the rest of your day.

IMG_0902

Oh and one more thing, according to Iyengar, inversions are really helpful when trying to get rid of a cold, so an added bonus there! (Source- Light On Yoga)

Next up runner’s lunge! This is a really gentle hip opener, perfect for in the morning when you will be tight. If you are practicing in the evening and you have been sitting all day it will counteract that. I love runner’s lunge and I can really feel it opening me up, my muscles seem to stretch and soften the longer I stay in the pose. Play around to find where the perfect point is for your body and then stay there for a few breaths.

IMG_0904

From runner’s lunge, pick up your back foot and come to balancing on your front foot. You can play around here with any balance. I chose standing splits, but really just go into your favourite! Get messy!

Balancing poses do restore balance in our lives. They force us to ground ourselves on our mat, then we take this feeling of being grounded into the rest of our day.

IMG_0905

They also settle our thoughts. In order to balance and not fall we must steady the mind. This will also stay with us (hopefully) throughout the day. With practice the thoughts in your mind will begin to settle, like ripples on a lake. In that stillness we find our divine self and true creativity.

IMG_0906

From standing splits you can take a rag doll and transition to runners lunge on the other side. Flow through the asanas however you like. You can hold for 5 breaths or one breath per movement. Really tune into your body, and your intuition and it will guide you in your practice.

When you have finished flowing, come down onto your mat, lying on your stomach. Move into an extended cobra. With your arms extended this will protect your lower back from crunching. A gentle backbend will release emotions, specifically from the past. By moving into this pose we open our hearts, this makes us feel vulnerable both on a physical and emotional level. But from this vulnerability we are able to move into our true being.

Vulnerability is something I am really working on at the moment. I find it so hard, I don’t know why. It scares me. But that is beautiful in itself. I will be doing lots of backbends to challenge this feel of vulnerability and step out my comfort zone. I invite you to do the same.

IMG_0901

Finally come into some more meditative poses before you finish your practice. Supta baddha konasana is a deep resting pose. It will be where you can release any final emotions you still have within you. Let them all bubble up to the surface: both positive and negative. Until all you are left with is unwavering joy and peace.

Rest one hand on your heart chakra and one on your sacral chakra (your stomach). This will awaken love and creativity in your life.

IMG_0907

Then when you are ready come into your final resting pose- savasana.

I love you all.

Namaste

IMG_0908

For the super correct alignment I would read Journey into Power by Baron Baptiste, but just go with how your body feels. If it doesn’t feel good then play around and change the pose to fit YOU! These books by Baron Baptiste are slightly less about the physical asana and more about life but super helpful:  Perfectly Imperfect and  Being of Power.

Why Do HOT Yoga?

Heat sets you free – Baron Baptiste 

I have just done a hot yoga class (the thermometer said 37degrees!) and so I feel kind of inspired to explain what the benefits of hot yoga are and is it better than normal yoga?

When I first came to yoga I usually did classes in a heated room, but this was pure coincidence. I didn’t know why I was doing yoga at such a hot temperature and I definitely didn’t understand the changes taking place on a deeper level because of the heat.

Since changing studios, I have started doing more yoga at room temperature, because this is more of what the the new studio offers. The room still gets hot because of the people moving and ujjayi breathing, but I definitely don’t sweat as much. This has meant that when I actually do a heated class I notice the difference!

For me the main thing was I felt a lot more supple. Because of the heat all my muscles were relaxed and the class I did today felt super easy. This isn’t to say that ‘hot yoga’ is easier, but it definitely feels less stiff in the joints. Often teachers compare muscles to glass, saying that you cannot shape glass until it is heated and fluid, the same for our muscles. Practicing hot yoga can be safer, because when we are warm we are less likely to injure and strain ourselves. The heat also means we can go deeper into poses, although we still have to be mindful when doing this! Heat can be especially helpful to backbends, for we can only go into them properly when our back muscles are warmed up and will bend.

Another benefit of hot yoga is that it detoxifies the body. The heat makes us sweat twice as much, and this releases toxins, excess fluids and metabolic debris from the body. When we sweat out these substances it gives our liver and kidneys a well deserved rest.

The heat is HEALING. All that doesn’t belong is burned away and released, both emotional and physical. The heat of the yoga studio can lead to spiritual regeneration. It can set you free.

I definitely found that today in my class. The heat burned away my thoughts and the more I embraced it the more enjoyment I got out of my flow.

Sometimes practicing in a really hot room, especially when we are not used to it, can be uncomfortable and distracting. But try to see the temperature in a positive way and not negative, this will make it a lot easier. Tell yourself that you like the heat and list the reasons why it is good for you. Stop fighting it and relax. If you get too hot you can slow down your practice, take a child’s pose or use a cooling breath. Don’t let the heat stop you, just adapt to it.

IMG_0625

IMG_0628

To sum up:

Heat is good for our yoga practice because:

  1. It protects our body from injury (because it softens our muscles) \
  2. It can be healing, both physically and mentally
  3. We can go even deeper into our practice, discovering things that we haven’t before

There are multiple ways you can generate heat, even if you don’t go to a hot yoga class:

  1. By ujjayi breathing
  2. Using movement- flow faster to generate more heat
  3. Others (e.g. wear more or thicker clothes, practice somewhere in your house that is naturally hotter..)

Hot yoga definitely isn’t the be all and end all. Some people like it and some people don’t. It really is just a case of trying it and seeing whether it works for you. Get curious and don’t be too quick to judge.

Personally I do hot yoga once or twice a week and this works well for me, any more and I start to not notice the benefits. But again see what works for you.

Namaste!

5 Yoga Essentials- Great for Beginners

Yoga is a beautiful form of exercise. It can be done absolutely anywhere by anyone. All you need is yourself.

I have done yoga on beaches; slipping on my towel and getting sand everywhere. I have done yoga in my house: in the kitchen, the living room, any space I can find. I have done yoga on top of mountains, in forests. Yoga does NOT have to be done in a studio!

That being said, it can be beneficial for your practice if you do have some equipment.

When you are starting your practice it can be confusing what to buy. I know when I started I had no idea what mat to get or if I needed blocks. I wish I had had someone to help me. This blog post is hopefully going to be some help to you when deciding what you need, before you go spend a lot of money. The items are my personal favourites and what I use. I will give you a good quality option that will last for life or a cheaper option if you are not ready to invest money into it.

1. Yoga mat 

I never really practice without my mat (unless I am outside). I love a mat because it gives you grip and some protection when you are in kneeling poses. I think a mat also adds structure to your practice by giving you a clear space to move around and markers where you should be placing your hands and feet.

If you want to invest in a really good mat then I recommend the Liforme Yoga Mat. This is a slightly pricey mat but super good because it is non-slip. If you are doing a sweaty vinyasa practice then it is crucial to have a non-slip mat. I have done a few rather complicated practices when I have been on a not so good mat and find myself sliding everywhere! Trust me it is hard to stay in the flow if you can barely stay on your mat. This mat is a great investment and I know a lot of yogis who have this mat and love it.

If you want a cheaper option but still good quality and non-slip then this SIMYJOY Eco Friendly Exercise Mat is perfect. It is just over £20 so really good value for money and is also eco-friendly! Perfect for hot yoga, bikram and ashtanga.

2. Yoga towel

As well as a yoga mat I have invested in a yoga towel. This is because when I am travelling to a studio and cannot take my own mat, I like to take my towel and use it on top of studio mats. This helps give me grip and makes sure I never slip, even on the worst mats. I also find it comforting to be practicing on my towel, I don’t know why.

A yoga towel is also great to soak up the sweat in a hot class and give you that added cushioning to protect joints.

I recommend THIS towel: The Hot Yoga Towel. It has a beautiful design, will fit perfectly onto your mat and is also lightweight so perfect for travel.

3. Blocks 

When I first started doing yoga I was so adamant that I didn’t need blocks. I saw them as a weakness almost. How wrong I was! The more I have progressed in my practice the more I use blocks. We all have completely different body shapes so using blocks can be so helpful to make the pose fit you. 

I use blocks to help me balance, as an extended arm, or to open me up. My favourite pose ever is restorative bridge pose. Just place the block under your sacrum and relax over it.

I would recommend investing in two cork blocks. They will definitely come in handy for your practice. I usually use the ones at the studio but this brand is really good: Lotuscraft Cork Yoga Block. Or a cheaper option:Bodhi Set of 2 Yoga Blocks.

4. Savasana blanket 

Blankets aren’t always essential for yoga but if you are practicing they can be very handy. I use blankets to cushion my knee when I am in a low lunge or doing anything with my knees. Our knees are very sensitive so it is essential to make sure we keep them safe when we are practicing. Blankets can also make your savasana so much more enjoyable. If you are practicing somewhere that isn’t heated then it will keep you warm when you relax and meditate. Some yoga teachers recommend placing the blanket over your abdomen, to represent protecting your delicate organs. I also always use a blanket to sit on when I am meditating just to make it more comfortable. I would recommend getting this blanket:Asana Yoga, Meditation Blanket .

5. Yoga clothes 

So I don’t actually own a lot of yoga clothes. Since I have stopped buying stuff, that unfortunately includes yoga leggings and tops. I have been wearing a lot of the clothes I already owned from when I was a keen runner. When I practice at home I always always wear these Nike shorts. I find I can flow so freely when I am in them. I also own 2 pairs of really good quality yoga leggings for when I am practicing in a studio (2 is all you need really). Lululemon is my favourite brand ever and their leggings are just amazing quality, but there are an investment. If you want a cheaper pair then I would recommend these Yoga Pants.

file-1

Ok so I hope this was helpful for everyone. Don’t feel obliged to buy anything for yoga because like I said at the start of this blog post, all you need is yourself. Don’t let the fact you don’t have the gear stop you doing yoga. The most important thing isn’t that you have a mat or the most fashionable leggings, it is that you actually go do yoga and enjoy it!

Namaste yogis!

CALLING ALL LONDON YOGIS

So I have begun my journey of teaching yoga. Today I taught my first class and it was amazing. I was so nervous before hand but when I stood in front of the group all the anxiety left me and I felt so calm and good. We all have to start somewhere. The exhilaration I felt afterwards was amazing! I can’t wait to do it again.

To anyone in London I will be teaching classes soon. Please get in touch with me on rosa.prosser@hotmail.co.uk if you are interested or have any questions. I will let you know the details!

I just want this to be a message to everyone out there that you absolutely CAN achieve anything you want to in life! A year ago I had no idea I would be a yoga teacher, but look where I am. Life can lead you some strange places but always have faith and just know that you are exactly where you need to be RIGHT NOW. The universe intended you to be here. Don’t fight it or wish it was different. You are in the perfect place and you yourself are absolutely perfect.

Namaste

IMG_2040

Savasana

Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is described sometimes as the hardest pose and sometimes as people’s favourite pose. I wonder why that is.

The essence of savasana summed up by Baron Baptiste is:

Here is where it is. 

Now is when it is. 

You are what it is. 

Savasana is what all the asanas are leading up too. They are preparing our body for this one pose. It is a chance to be present and enter another realm. For some of us it is a chance to have a moment of space and peace during the day. I believe that savasana holds a different meaning for each of us, that may differ depending on the practice we have just had. For me savasana is a chance to be grateful for the practice I have just had and what is awaiting for me when I step off the mat. It is often really emotional for me and I do cry a lot. I think the emotions just spill out when you let your body have a moment of stillness. And this is perfect. It is very cleansing and leaves you feeling ready afterwards.

At the end of our yoga practice when in savasana we come home to ourselves. Finally all the layers are stripped back and there is no hiding any more. You ego is quietened and unites with your authentic self in your heart. Together they join your higher self and you are one. This is a brilliant feeling. To feel alive and connected in your body. To feel home. Sadly it is not something that everyone gets to experience, let alone live by day by day.

Savasana is just being. Release the trying. Release the effort. Release the expectations, the thoughts, the worries, the future, the past. Just BE. Enjoy this gift to do nothing but listen to your heartbeat. Enjoy this gift to live in the present moment. Embrace your meditation. Relax your breath and forget about where you are. Leave your body behind on the mat and watch as you float up into another realm. Feel the one-ness. Feel your divine self inside and know that that is the real you. In savasana you finally see the truth and can let all else go.

As you lie there, on your mat, in corpse pose, allow yourself the gift of acceptance. Accept everything that ever was, that will be, that is happening now. Accept yourself. Accept others. This is the law of least effort as taught be Deepak Chopra, the only way to live a life at EASE is acceptance. Practice it in savasana and then bring it with you into your day. See what you can accept and where that will make your life a little easier, a little calmer, a little happier. Accept was is.

Lie in Savasana and listen to the heart. Know that the heart knows what is wants and will always lead you in life, if you choose to follow.

Lie there and breath. Just BE

Namaste

IMG_1459

Full Moon Yoga

On Tuesday it was the full moon. The full moon represents a time to begin again. It radiates powerful energy to us all so we have the beautiful chance to use this sacred energy to make changes in your life. You can set intentions and follow them through for the next month and really take a good look at what is working for you. Using both the moon and the universe you can manifest the life that you desire. IMG_0429

This month, since I was in Aruba, I went down to the beach to practice a full moon flow. It was an amazing experience. The night just felt timeless and so sacred. There was a buzz of energy in the air and I felt so grateful to be able to experience it all.

Whilst we were waiting for the moon to appear, we sat on the beach, sand in our toes, and watched the sun set. The only way I can describe it is purely magical.

IMG_0438

The full moon yoga began after the sun had set when it was completely dark. We lit the beach up with candles and some people had crystals as well. Everyone gathered under the moon to honour her and practice together.

IMG_0444

Under the moon we practised a slightly different form of yoga which involved moon salutations instead of the regular sun salutations. Moon salutations differ to sun salutations because you move more side to side along your mat rather down up and down. Moon salutations differ also since they cool and soothe the body (rather than sun salutations which create heat). They are meditative and restorative and are great to do late in the evening before going to bed to help sleep. In our full moon flow we did a lot of hip openers to release emotions and hamstring stretches. This was to prepare us for the new moon and month ahead.

The moon salutation:

  • For the flow we started off in Tadasana. We had the long side of the mat facing the moon so we could practice facing her, and we stood on the let side of the mat to start.IMG_0624
  • Inhale to reach to the stars and exhale to step your right foot out side ways into five point star.IMG_0625
  • Inhale here and then exhale to bend your knees and turn your toes out into Goddess pose. Bring your arms to cactus arms with your elbows bent at 90degree angles. Hold Goddess pose for 5 breaths.IMG_0627
  • Straighten your legs and exhale into Trikonasana on your right.IMG_0629
  • From Trikonasana (triangle pose) exhale to step your left foot in half way and come into pyramid pose, bending over your right leg and squaring your hips forward.IMG_0631
  • Exhale to drop your left knee on the mat and come into a lunge over the right foot. You can move around here to open your hips if that feels good.IMG_0633
  • Next come into some snake squats. Moving from the right to left with your hands on the mat or at your heart. On your third come into a low lunge over your left foot.
  • From here lift your back knee and straighten your legs into pyramid pose on the left.
  • Step your right foot back and come into Trikonasana on your exhale.
  • Inhale and rise from Trikonasana into your 5 point star and then exhale to Goddess pose. Then step your left foot to meet your right foot. Inhale to reach to the stars and then exhale your hands to heart centre.
  • Repeat this full sequence again starting on the left side this time. When you have completed it this is one full moon salutation.

IMG_0250

I wanted to share with you what I journaled that night after the yoga:

The moon was humongous and so bright. It surprised me the power she had in her. you could feel the energy. It was in the air lingering as anticipation and excitement. New beginnings were all around. And as I lay on the beach gazing up at the stars I felt so infinite. In that moment I was timeless. There was no’I’ anymore. 

Gently I closed my eyes and listened to the waves crash on the shore. I felt the warm breeze caressing my skin. It felt as though I was in a soft embrace or wearing a jumper. With my eyes closed I left my body behind on the beach. I was now in the waves and in the wind. Moving moving and alive. With darkness surrounding me I did not feel fear, only comfort, safety and at peace. I had a realisation that when I opened my eyes everything might have changed. But this didn’t bother me. I blinked and surrendered to the change that is such a big part of our lives. We are all rivers constantly moving, never the same as before.

Embrace it and flow with the universe. 

IMG_0451

Namaste

How To Continue Your Yoga Practice When Travelling

When you go on holiday it can be difficult to continue the positive habits you so effortlessly keep at home. Practicing yoga everyday can turn into a struggle. Your morning meditation might become non-existent. I find this especially when I am travelling with others who do not share the same routines as I do. You have to be flexible when on holiday and accommodate for the people around you. You also want to relax and be able to enjoy your time without having to force yourself to do something. This is where balance should be introduced.

You can find balance easily when on holiday and it is definitely needed to keep you feeling good and insure you have the best time possible.

IMG_0150

I practice yoga everyday when I am on holiday because it makes me feel amazing. After the long flight I need yoga to stretch me out and get my shoulders and spine feeling back to normal. I practice because it reconnects me to the present, when it is so easily to get distracted when you are somewhere new. I then take this presence of my mat and I am able to enjoy the rest of the day with whoever I am traveling with because I am truly present. I experience it all and do not miss a thing.

IMG_0148

TIP 1: Find a yoga studio.

In Aruba I have been practicing at Island Yoga everyday. This makes continuing my daily yoga practice effortless because I do not have to find time alone or somewhere to practice. I simply book on to a class and walk the 5 minutes to the studio and surrender to the practice. It is also great because I am taught my new teachers and I am able to learn new sequences and tips and really experience yoga as a beginner again. I can open my mind to a different way of practicing and it has definitely helped me grow.

I am grateful for the fact that my boyfriend respects the fact I that I want to practice and he goes and does something on his own for a bit. Then afterwards we are able to meet up and enjoy our day on the beach! However this isn’t the cheapest option so if you are travelling on a budget then I recommend some of my other tips.

TIP 2: Get up early

If you cannot afford to pay for daily classes when you are away but are still committed to your practice then I recommend getting up slightly early so you can do your yoga before others get up. This way you don’t take time away from anyone else in the day but you also get to practice. It is a win win. By the time they wake up you are feeling amazing because you have practiced yoga and you are ready to take on the day.

This is completely free. It does require you to get up early on holiday though which some people may not like, but I assure you it is worth it!

TIP 3: Try 5 minutes

So if getting up early is not your thing, especially when you are on holiday, then that is ok. Never force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Instead keep your yoga practice going by just doing 5 minutes a day.

We all can find 5 spare minutes out of our day. I usually spend more then that scrolling Instagram if I am honest. So use this time for something more productive which is going to leave you feeling great, like yoga.

Sit down and tune in to your body. What do you need? Then set a timer for 5 minutes and spend that time giving your body what it needs. It might be hip openers or hamstring stretches after the plane. It might be sun salutations to introduce some movement. It might be meditation. Whatever you do, it is perfect. 5 minutes is better than nothing and it will leave you feeling lighter and better than you did before.

IMG_0141

I hope these tips were helpful. Please let me know if you have any good tips that help you continue your practice when on holiday.

Have a beautiful day

Namaste

 

FRESH START YOGA SEQUENCE

Yesterday I wrote a post all about ‘new beginnings.’ I have been thinking about what yoga would be best suited to accompany the new chapter in your life. I have came up with the perfect sequence that I want to share with you all…

So yoga is great because it moves energy. Sometimes we feel stuck in life because we have an energy blockage or stagnant energy that we need to shift in order to feel better. Yoga shifts that energy for us. It is also a great converter of energy. If we are feeling frustrated about anything then spending an hour on our mat can turn that frustration into gratitude or love. It really is an amazing thing.

The best yoga poses for releasing old emotions are heart openers (back bends) because the bending backwards represents going into the past and it causes old emotions to resurface. This is great because we feel them again and are able to let them go. That way we are not bringing our old baggage with us when we are making a fresh start in life.

Start your FRESH START YOGA SEQUENCE in child’s pose on your mat. Take time to connect to your breath and set your intention for the practice. Think about what you want this yoga to do for you. Do you want to release emotions from your past or create the energy of how you want to feel? Set your intention and keep it with you for the rest of the practice.

Warm up by doing some simple sun salutations. Check out my post if you are unsure about how to do them. Once you are feeling warm and limber then you are ready to start the fresh start sequence.

The first pose is camel. This is an amazing back bend and heart opener to release all the old emotions you are still clinging on too. Hold for 5 breaths and then come into either downward facing dog or child’s pose to rest. Repeat camel 2 more times then come to downward facing dog.

IMG_0006

From downward facing dog move forward into plank. Then from plank come to side plank on your right. Hold for 10 breaths here to build strength, but feel free to take any modification you wish. Side plank will make you strong and give you the strength needed to change your habits in this new chapter. From side plank move into wild thing. This is a fun pose as well as a heart opener, so should feel great once you come out. Repeat this sequence on the left side: downward facing dog, plank, side plank, wild thing.

IMG_0021

Next we move to our warrior part of the sequence. Come to warrior 1 on your right side. Then move to humble warrior. Humble warrior is great because when we make a fresh start we need to be humble: admit our mistakes and be open to moving forward and starting again. Humble warrior will help us with this.

IMG_0011

Transition from humble warrior to runners lunge by bringing your hands to your mat and rotating your hips to face forward. Hold here to open your hips. This also releases a lot of unwanted emotions since we tend to store and hold on to stress in our hips. This should feel really good to hold. Lift your right arm to the sky to open up the right side of your body. Twists like this will help your digestion, thus helping you move forward in life. Enjoy this juicy stretch.

IMG_0019

Bring your left foot to meet your right at the top of your mat and move into gorilla pose. Relax your torso and just hang down over your thighs. Bend your knees slightly and sway. Shift the energy and focus on your breath.

IMG_0016

Finally, come to tree pose. This calming and restorative pose will bring balance back to your life. Balance needed for that fresh start. We could all do with more balance in our lives. This pose will also ground you too, restoring your root chakra.

Repeat this sequence on your left side and then end with an inversion of your choice. To finish gently come to supine twist and then rest in shavasana.

 

I hope that this sequence helps you kick start your new beginning as much as it has helped me. Every morning is the opportunity for a fresh start. We can do more everyday. We can smile more, love more and be more present. I feel excited every morning to begin again and see what the day will bring. For me this is what life is all about.

Have a beautiful day.

Namaste