How are your hips?  Do you feel stiff in your hips and low back?  Like they just don’t sway like they used to?  If you sit in a desk most of the day or stand on your feet you might be tight in your hips and low back that can cause a lot of pain.  Below you will find a simple stretch that can be done in stationary chair (no wheels please) that will alleviate aches and pains due to inactivity.  So pull up a chair.

Pigeon in chair hip stretch

Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet planted firmly in front of you and sit up tall.  Now cross your left ankle over your right knee, like a man would typically cross his legs.  If you are really tight your knee crossed over will point towards the ceiling and it will feel very awkward.  In that case put books, blankets or a higher chair underneath you so your knee of the foot on the floor is 90º, in this case the right knee.  Lift up through your spine to be as high on your sit bones as possible creating a flat back.  You may feel some stretching in your hip just by being in this position and if so just hang out there for at least 30-60 sec.

If you don’t get much sensation place your hands up a wall as high as you can,  or find something to pull on like a yoga ropes wall or a bar and lean forward keeping the spine straight until you begin to feel a stretch in the hip of the leg that is crossed over.  After 30-60 seconds change to the other side.  Repeat each side at least three times.  After you are done stand up and gently bend at the waist reaching forward towards your toes.  Then come back to a standing position and take a walk.  See if your hips have a little more swing to them.  Now put an alarm clock at your desk or workstation to help remind you to do this again at least two more times throughout the day.

You will find this stretch, when repeated often, will be very helpful in alleviating all sorts of hip and lower back pain.  As always, let me know how it goes.

Live Simply and Wisely,

Justine

Write to Justine at hello@fulleryoga.com or find on Facebook

Fall Back to School

August 8, 2018

Sarajean assist.jpgSeptember is back to school month.  That means a lot of changes.  Different schedules have to be put in place, more traffic and cars are on the road and that time we had to play, take a day trip or go to the movies is scheduled with activities, homework and the onset of the holidays.  So how can you keep the easy spirit of summer and carve out time for yourself as your whole life changes tempo?

Well, it’s not just kids that have to go back to school.  Us adults could you use the education as well.   One of the best ways to keep your mental acuities is to keep learning, studying and growing your knowledge in ways that interest you and broaden your horizons.

Where can you find a class or workshop on various subjects that doesn’t cost a mortgage?  The first place to look is actually not you tube or the internet but your town.  Many towns have a park and recreation department that provide various classes ranging from foreign languages, computers, cooking, art and even exercise classes.  As we age it can get harder and harder to meet people and create connections and companions around activities that interest us.  We can get isolated and the internet won’t help break through loneliness.  That’s why when you engage in your community you can meet people who have similar interests and are close by therefore after the course is over you could meet up for lunch or coffee.

Also you may want to branch out to your local community college.  They generally have lots of classes that pertain to personal development that won’t end up in a degree, unless you want that of course.  There are arts annexes and organizations that hold classes in painting, photography, sculpture, writing mixed media etc.  You can check museums or science centers that may be having lectures or workshops in conjunction with specific exhibits.  You can even look at your local yoga studio for classes or workshops in yoga, meditation, essential oils and to make a bigger commitment you can enroll in a 200hr yoga teacher training even if you already know you may not want to teach.

Sure we may have to do additional education for our job to keep up with trends but it is also important to find new things to learn that peak your interests and help you become a well rounded human being and a fountain of information.  Then when the details of what we’ve learned have faded into the background we will still have good friends with similar interests.  And that can last a lifetime.

 

For more information on workshops and teacher trainings with Justine at Fuller Yoga in either Glastonbury  or West Hartford please visit www.fulleryoga.com

Meditation…

July 22, 2018

2008-05-20 16.29.18Have you ever thought about your thoughts?  Have you ever thought about how your thoughts make you feel?  Often times it’s our thoughts that stimulate our feelings.  If you think about how someone disappointed you, you may feel sad or upset, however if you think about the person who helped you move something or watched your children while you ran an errand or some other good deed, then you may feel a sense of love and connection.  So it’s evident our thoughts have a lot to do with our feelings.  This week let’s take a minute to examine our thoughts.  Are they mostly positive or negative?  Do they leave you feeling good or bad?

It may seem weird to examine your thoughts but you will find that you gain clarity and peace of mind when you are more in control of what you are thinking.  Here’s an exercise you to help.  On a blank piece of paper draw a line down the center to make two columns.  Use the left hand column write down your “negative” thoughts then on the right hand column write a list of your “positive” thoughts. Your positive column may be small but notice how you feel when you think about those thoughts.

Now that you have separated your positive and negative thoughts you will begin to notice them more and more.  In fact carry your list with you throughout the day so you can add to it on either side.  Then at the end of the day cut your list in half lengthwise so the columns are separate and burn the negative side so all you have left is the positive side.  Then take the positive side and place it in a prominent place in your home or workplace.  Repeat the exercise everyday for 5 days.  You will end up with 5 positive lists.  Try not to repeat anything on the lists.  Now for the next two days keep reading your positive lists and let the good feelings affect your attitude, your relationships, and your connection to Universal Source Energy and all things good and beautiful.

 

Live Simply and Wisely,

Justine

For more information on meditation classes please visit

https://fulleryoga.com/events-workshops/

downdog flowTruly there is nothing like it.  I cannot seem to find a way to replicate the openness and length the body gets with the Ropes Wall.  Originally designed by B.K.S. Iyengar it has unlimited potential for ALL and I mean ALL.  For those just starting out it is good for support and structure.  For people who who have injuries, spinal issues or chronic pain the ropes wall can target areas traditional yoga just can’t no matter what style you practice.  And for the advanced yogi the wall helps the body access and deepen stretches to achieve postures like King Pigeon king pigeonand Wheel.  With all the sitting, driving and texting we do we have to find ways to bring ourselves upright and back into better posture.

The best way the ropes wall does this is by allowing us to be passive and soften into postures so our body can relax and unwind all the tension it’s been holding without forcing or pushing into something new.  Water does not flow the way you force it to but rather it finds the path of least resistance.  Our bodies aren’t much different.  They like to take the path of least resistance.  Just think of the effort it takes to get up and change the channel.  Ergo the remote.

If you think it’s not for you think again.  I’ve had 6’4″ men on it, students with scoliosis on it, 85 year old women on it and others who were terrified find their way to loving the wall and what it does for their body and getting them out of stiffness and pain.  In fact one student felt as though her organs had more space in her body.  This might be true.

There is a stillness when practicing on the wall.  I suppose it’s due to the space that is created in the body the joints and the mind itself for possibility and ease.  Find a class either with us or a studio near you, you won’t regret it.

 

 

 

The Cool Side of Yoga

July 6, 2018

swimming pool yoga 2I’m sure you’ve all heard about Bikram Yoga (yoga practiced in 108°), Hot Yoga, Sweat and Surrender Yoga and now even Hot Pilates and Barre classes so with all this hot yoga craze we may be missing out on the cooler side of stretching, breathing and relaxing.

There are several styles of yoga that are great to balance out summer activities and warmer climates so you can still get all the benefits of yoga.  The first one is restorative yoga. This therapeutic style of yoga is often called “Active Relaxation” which uses props to support the body while keeping it active with minimal movement in a relaxed, meditative state. These poses are used to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for balancing the body. The postures are specifically designed for when you are feeling fatigued, weak, stressed from daily life or when you just want to experience stillness. They are equally beneficial to alleviate depression, reduce chronic pain, migraines and the symptoms of insomnia, asthma and to help recover from childbirth.  The second style of yoga I recommend during the hot months is Gentle Yoga.  Gentle Yoga consists of a balance between slow repetitive and sustained stretching.  Standing postures are rare in gentle yoga and if they are performed they are to stretch rather than strengthen.  Gentle yoga can be an excellent way to begin a yoga practice and start gaining flexibility in a way that won’t set you up for failure.  The third practice is Yin Yoga.  Yin (soft) yoga, as opposite of Yang (active, strong) offers a slow paced movement and helps press pause on hyperactive life we are living. Yin and Yang are opposites, yet together they create wholeness while complimenting each other. The yoga postures will be held for short periods of time (2-4 min) with intention to create more elasticity in connective tissue, access deeper muscles, release stress from the body and mind and aid in overall relaxation.

With summer comes lots of activities and exuberant energy that needs to be balanced and grounded.  It is just as important to take care of ourselves when we feel good as it is when we do not.  These three yoga styles (Restorative, Gentle and Yin) are the perfect activity to do just that just look for these names of yoga at your closest yoga studio.

L.Justine Fuller

For workshop and 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training courses please visit;

www.fulleryoga.com

Meet Kristina!

June 5, 2018

YMP_4172 as Smart Object-1

What brought you to yoga? About 7 years ago I began training for and completed a ½ marathon. I was so psyched that I began training for a full marathon almost immediately afterwards. I went for a long run on a cold January day and in an effort to complete the run, I sprinted the last mile. As I ran I felt like something snapped in my left hip area and immediately felt intense pain in my knee and had a hard time walking. I came to find out that I pulled my IT band. I went through PT, but needed something to keep myself stretched and toned. I took my first yoga class and I fell in love with the connection between body and mind. I loved the meditative qualities as well as the mindfulness and focus. The strengthening of my body was also a huge plus!

In what ways has yoga impacted your life? Yoga has helped me to refocus more quickly after life throws curve balls at me. Even if I lose my temper or emotion gets away from me, my training has taught me to always return to the breath.

Why did you decide to enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training? While I was a Police Officer, a friend asked me what I would do if I wasn’t Police Officer. Without even thinking “become a Yoga Teacher” came out of my mouth. I wasn’t even aware I wanted to teach! Well, after the birth of my daughter almost 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to retire and there happened to be a Yoga Teacher Training starting that fall at the studio I was practicing in. I signed up and have not regretted one step of this new journey.

Looking back what advice would you give to yourself the first time you stepped onto a yoga mat? Stop trying to compete with others. Enjoy the moment. Be curious about the practice and where the teacher is trying to lead you. SOFTEN! Oh, and none of the other students are watching you!!

What activities do you enjoy outside of teaching? Spending free time with my Step-sons, husband and daughter doing something fun like hiking or going to the beach, I love to go to the beach with my daughter. I love to garden, going to amusement parks, AND if I can find the time, I love to read.

What advice would you give a beginner? Be kind to yourself and try not to judge. Everyone has a starting point when they begin yoga. Don’t aspire and wish to be in the difficult postures immediately. Those take time, but be present in the moment and be patient with yourself about where you are in your practice. The teacher is there to help you.

What is your favorite pose? My favorite pose constantly changes. Sometimes it’s wheel, sometimes Balancing Half Moon, but I think most consistently it is Warrior II. I love the grounding and strength of the posture. It is a conscious effort to be in such a strong posture, but at the same time to soften the gripping.

What surprise have you found about yourself or others from being a teacher? I found that I do love to teach. I wasn’t sure as I went through training if I truly did want to teach, but once I began to teach, I loved it. When I center my class, I can truly let go of what is happening beyond the studio walls, no matter what went on in life before I walked through the doors. As the class and I begin to breathe in unison and the class begins to move, my tension melts away and I begin to soften. Teaching is a big part of my yoga path.

Join Kristina as she leads you through #108SunSalutations

Sunday June 24th from 3-5pm. Fee $35

Sign up with this link.

 

Meet Melissa!

March 1, 2018
image41. What brought you to yoga?
Years ago I found myself in a rut struggling with anxiety, insomnia and chronic
neck pain ​from a car accident in my teens.  Feeling a little down one day I asked myself “is this as good as it gets?” The universe seemed to respond quickly as I soon found myself in a yoga class breathing, twisting and turning without a clue as to what I was doing.

​ ​
Walking out of that first class was like experiencing a whole new lease on life that felt hopeful, healthy and vibrant! I was hooked, and that feeling has been bringing me back to my mat every day!
2. In what ways has yoga impacted your life?
The day after my first yoga class was quickly followed by a second class the next day, and the next day and then followed by three to five times per week. The effects of peace, calm and joy felt on my first day were confirmed again and again as each day I left class feeling fantastic! Anxiety and neck pain disappeared and I was sleeping great!
3. Why did you decide to enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training?
My desire to create beautiful things through art and design carried me naturally into the desire to share the beautiful effects yoga had in my life. Enrolling in training at Kripalu was a natural next step after a year since stepping into my first yoga class.
4. Looking back what advice would you give to yourself the first time you stepped onto a yoga mat?

​ ​Relax and have fun! Our mind and body tend to be at odds with new experiences. Quieting the mind and listening to the body allows one to begin to experience the body leading you into a new and wonderful world of peace. This can be challenging when our mind rules our world, but that is where yoga really shines.
5. What activities do you enjoy outside of teaching?

Traveling, paddleboarding, hiking and spending time with my family and friends.
6. What advice would you give a beginner?
Try it!  Let your body be the judge after a class or two.  Once we get out of our mind and allow our body to twist and turn releasing the tension and stress that we aren’t even aware of, the mind becomes more calm and centered which is a wonderful feeling! So many times people get caught up in thinking their yoga pose needs to be as perfect as the poses on the cover of yoga journal but it doesn’t. Yoga isn’t about perfect poses, yoga’s about connecting to your body and yourself.
7. What is your favorite pose?
I really want to say savasana because that’s my all-time favorite, but only after a full practice!  Dancer pose is my favorite! I love the benefits, it’s a great backbend and quad stretch!
8. What surprise have you found about yourself or others from being a teacher?
I never imagined myself being a teacher. Now my full time job is being a yoga and meditation teacher and a reiki practitioner. Yoga teacher training was such an empowering and confidence building experience that it has literally created a career I never knew was waiting for me.
To find a class with Melissa visit www.fulleryoga.com
Each month we will be highlighting our instructors.  Those individuals who have integrated yoga off their mat and into their life, their conversations and their way of living.  Here are some answers to some of your burning questions. From Nancy;Nancy Adler
1. What brought you to yoga?
Space and quiet, and maybe a little desire to have arms that look like Madonna
2. In what ways has yoga impacted your life?
It has offered me a path, it gives me tools for handling all the struggles and stress of life and it has opened up a community of friends, students and teachers who change my life daily.
3. Why did you decide to enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training?
I loved yoga so much that i wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to experience what it had given me.
4. Looking back what advice would you give to yourself the first time you stepped onto a yoga mat?
There is no “right” way to do any yoga pose and no need to do every pose. Oh, and back off, more is not always better.
5. What activities do you enjoy outside of teaching?
Learning and sharing about essential oils, running with my dog, and laughing with my family.
6. What advice would you give a beginner?
Try a basic class first and many different teachers.
7. What is your favorite pose?
It won’t surprise my students to hear all versions of lunge:  High Lunge, Runners Lunge and Low Lunge.  But it’ll probably be different tomorrow.
8. What surprise have you found about yourself or others from being a teacher?
The biggest surprise is that my students teach me more than I teach them.
Thanks for reading.  We will be updating both the blog and our instructors insights as we head into 2018.

wall-yogaAs the month of Love is upon us it gets me thinking of the heart, self love and deep courage.  What makes courage, courage?

My conclusion is that courage is doing or saying the things most other people we know are not.  If they were it would be called normal not courage.  For example, if everyone were to quit their stable jobs and leave their family to go travel around the world at the age of 45 then it would be the norm, and then not going would be courageous.  But on a smaller scale if everyone had those difficult conversations that include topics like; I want to separate, or I’m deeply afraid of showing you I’m vulnerable, I love you so much it scares me, I lied to you, or I have a terminal illness and I’d like to talk about the end of my time,  then we might be a healthier more well adjusted society.

It takes real courage to get to the heart of it.  To be deeply honest with yourself and then be  that honest with those closest to you.  Your palms might sweat, you may experience shortness of breath, feel anxious and even a little nauseous, but in the face of communicating your truth these are all signs of great courage.

So how do we live the tough stuff?  Sometimes our truth may disappoint people. They may feel hurt, betrayed or thrown off their path.  Then we feel responsible and don’t want to feel that we are the cause of another persons suffering. And in the same way our truth may help another feel relieved and validated.  If we say nothing we deny ourselves the opportunity to strengthen our courage muscle the heart.  Because it is only with great strength and courage that we can even have those difficult conversations.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years to help get over the fear and draw on the courage that lives in you heart so the truth can set everyone free.

  1.  Spend time alone.  It’s hard to tell if we are reacting or not.  It’s easy to say I want to move to another state when your state just raised taxes yet again.  Or fantasize about a new lover when you just got into a fight with yours.  Time spent alone will help you determine what is true.  The truth doesn’t yell.  It doesn’t give the finger, or yell F. You.  The truth never says “If only…… or when I…… then……I’ll…..”  The truth is usually quiet and strong and hits you like a rock when you stubble upon it and it is best found when you are still with no distractions and by yourself.
  2. Ask yourself often, “Is this what I really want?”  You may not know what you want but you may know something is off, not quiet right.  Somewhere inside you know you haven’t met your truth just yet.  This is a good place to be because sometimes you have to know what you don’t want in order to know what you do.  Be curious.  The answer to the question; What do I want? lies also in the question; “Is this what I really want?” because it helps you focus on what is here right now in front of you and not something that has not yet been realized.
  3. Embrace the fear.  Never try to push it away or stop feeling it.  That only leads to bad things.  When your palms get sweaty embrace it.  Know that you are on the right track.  When your stomach starts to do flip flops pat yourself on the back,you are on your way to being more courageous then you ever have before.  Set a place at the table for your fear and anxiety when you are ready to have that oh so difficult yet courageous and deeply liberating discussion.  And of course remember, the truth doesn’t yell.  It doesn’t give the finger, or yell F. You.  The truth never says “If only…… or when I…… then……I’ll…..”

 

Strengthen your heart this year.  Be your own Valentine and show yourself are courageous beyond measure.  Take the risk.  Love yourself deeply enough to be true.  Tell the truth.     It might just set you free.

Breathe,

Justine

For a full list of classes workshops and fun events visit www.fulleryoga.com

For individual sessions of wisdom please email;

info@fulleryoga.com

And if we don’t have those difficult talks and maybe even arguments then we all suffer.  There’s hidden anger, sadness and resentment that can linger for years.

 

godEver since “The Secret” got the general public thinking about The Law of Attraction and other meditation techniques to help you reach your goals people have been trying to figure it out.  Well here’s the one thing you really need to know.  You are not your thoughts.  So many of us think that what we are thinking is the truth, reality, and the hard cold facts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The REAL Truth.

Until you can take control of your mind and thus your emotions that follow you will struggle with getting what you want.  In order to manifest your dreams you have to be very detailed, specific and feel really good when you think about getting them.  You can’t want a new house and the minute you think about having it you come up with excuses as to why it can’t be for you.  You have to love thinking about your new house, decorate it, paint it, mentally live in it.  How does it feel to live there?  Wake up there?  Park your car there?  These are the details needed to let the Universe know you mean business.

And at no time should you ever let doubt, excuses or negative thoughts enter your mind.  They are not real.  They are just thoughts passing by like people on the street.  Let them go.

How else can you get your mind to keep focusing and feeling good about what you want?  Create a Vision Board!  That way every day you get to see what it is you want and remind yourself how good it’s going to feel when you have it.  But again DON’T let your mind take over.  Your mental talk is designed to keep you safe and small for your own survival.  But we’ve grown so much since the days of real imminent danger.  It’s time to challenge your mind, challenge your thoughts and start thinking of good things.  Things that make you smile, laugh and lift you up.  In fact thank goodness for smart phones because when my mind would get negative and doubtful  all I had to do what watch some comedians on YouTube and my spirits lifted.   Don’t let your mind brood and go on and on.  Get out of that quickly, however you can.  And don’t spend too much time around others who bring your down also or don’t believe in you.  They won’t help your cause.

So go ahead and try a Vision Board, Feel what your Dreams accomplished feel like and most of all Have Fun!

If you want a more personal approach to manifesting your dreams and a little guidance send me an email at fulleryoga@gmail.com  We can set up some coaching calls, exercises and if your local we can even do some meet and greets.

Rates are flexible.

Breathe