It’s crunch time!  If you haven’t been exercising or keeping up your yoga and barre workouts then you’re late!  They say Summer bodies are made in the Winter but if you are just now rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, I’ve got an awesome arm hack for you.

My arms never saw definition until I started doing yoga on a regular basis.  And mind you I was dancing at least 8 hours a week and picking up heavy trays at the restaurant.  I love the way yoga incorporates one’s own body weight in such a dynamic way that it builds muscle strength, bone density and flexibility.

So here are my best picks for really toning up the arms for your summer dresses and tank tops!

Down Dog

Make sure your hands and feet start from plank pose.  Then rock back into down dog.  If your legs are tight and you find a lot of weight is in your arms then bend your knees so you can push your chest to the thighs.  It’s important to externally rotate the arms in down dog so you can really engage the triceps.

 

Side Plank

Often times students put their hand too far above their shoulder to gain any real strength.  So start in plank pose with your shoulders directly over your hands then turn to one side and stack your feet on top of each other to form one long line.  Use your inner thighs and core to keep your hips up and in line between your shoulders and feet.

 

Chaturanga 

Oh the illustrious chaturanga!  One of the most challenging arm positions in yoga. In this pose you want to keep your elbows in line with your wrists and do not round your upper back and dump your shoulders below your elbows!  As you get stronger you can bring your knees up off the ground!

 

Have fun and practice these for 3x at least 20 seconds each time.  Then we’ll wave to each other with no flapping in the wind!

I’ve been teaching yoga for quiet some time.  This year will make 21 years!  So along the way I’ve seen all sorts of people do yoga and I’ve heard all the excuses why someone can’t do yoga.  The assumptions people have about yoga are as many as the day is long.  Either they think it’s boring (usually the type A personality) or they think it’s too hard, or they think there is some sort of skill involved that they don’t posses.  But at the end of the day the truth (as cliche’ as it might be) is that if you are breathing you can do yoga.  The word yoga means “to yoke”.  To bring together breath, body, mind.  It’s definition is not; exercise that gets you into challenging positions to make you sweat or feel uncomfortable in the name of flexibility.  So if you are breathing and you can be mindful of your body you can do yoga. However, a yoga practice won’t be beneficial if you are inconsistent.  It really doesn’t matter if you are flexible, strong, injured, or out of shape.  The point is to practice.  To show up on your mat as often as possible to be present.  To breathe.  To slow down and check in with YOU!

Some of the best excuses I’ve heard are;

  1. I’m too tight.  Yes of course.  And whatever you don’t go to a yoga class to help with that.
  2. Yoga is boring.  Well then you haven’t been to the right class.  Yoga can be slow, fast, hard, gentle, sweaty, and deeply healing.  If you haven’t liked it yet keep trying.
  3. I wish I had time.  As I say, you either take time or time will take you.  It’s that simple.
  4. I have too many injuries.  The pharmacy industry is making a killing because you don’t think yoga can help.
  5. I couldn’t do that!  No you can’t.  You are in your 50’s and haven’t done much exercise but what you can do is start somewhere with something that works for you and stick to it.
  6. My mind is too busy to do yoga.  And so is everyone else’s. Just get on the mat.

One time in particular I got so tired of hearing a gentleman I had just met with multiple issues yoga could help with all his excuses I said, “You know it’s not your body that’s tight.  It’s your mind!”

 

 

 

 

Of course it was a relationship.  They’re always the most piercing way the Universe has to help us grow and understand ourselves.  And Holy Shiva it can be painful.

I was in a relationship with a man whose every word either offended me or hurt my heart.  Unfortunately, the pain was also a source of curiosity.  Why am I so offended?  I know this is not about me, so what have I not addressed in myself that I feel this primal need to defend myself?  The curiosity continued.  Then, there was a moment he was “telling me about myself” and I had an epiphany.  Oh!  This is yoga!  If I sit here in the discomfort and watch how I want to react but don’t, I can let him have his say and he will have no power to affect me unless I choose to react.

I realized all my hours on the mat had indeed prepared me for this moment.

I think there are a lot of times we are unable to react in the ways that we want to.  Times at work or with family that we can’t just have our say and that can help keep the peace but I believe it’s very important to notice how you feel.  Take notice of how you are being affected by the situation.  What is it that makes you want to react that way?  Do you feel powerless, ignored, not heard or offended?  Is it your ego that is offended?  Is there a threat to who you think yourself to be or who you  are trying to project yourself to be?

When you are able to be a witness to the inner reactions and not act out, unless needed of course, then you have started to cultivate the true meaning of the word yoga to “yoke”. To bring together.  To unify the feelings in your heart, to the thoughts in your head, to the words that may or may not come out of your mouth.

Keep Breathing….

 

Starting Yoga

January 31, 2019

Are you new to yoga and not sure where to start?  Or maybe you are a practicing and seasoned yogi looking for a community where you can expand your practice.   Not matter what your circumstances, finding the right home to practice yoga can be overwhelming. There are classes at gyms, local community centers, and a ton of studios with 32 flavors of yoga: want a practice full of heads stands and arm balances? Done. How about dance music? Or even yoga ‘boot camp’? Sure thing! There’s a class for every yogi, even if most of those things aren’t necessarily yoga.  But what’s important is that you find a studio with teachers that resonate with your needs; that provides you an inviting space to practice; that specializes in providing one-on-one attention to students in order to meet their needs; and that welcomes new yogis without making you feel like you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. This is what Fuller Yoga is all about.

 

At Fuller Yoga, we are focused on the well-being yoga can deliver.  We offer a range of classes to meet the evolving needs of our students, but we also specialize in helping all students achieve physical and mental well-being.  We are staffed with a team of seasoned, highly trained instructors that specialize in proper alignment and working with students who suffer from chronic pain and injuries.  We provide a clean, safe and judgement-free environment so students can learn the basics of a yoga practice, or take their existing practice to the next level, and experience all the benefits that doing yoga regularly can offer.  We love what we do and take pride in being there for every student in our community, ensuring that individual needs are being met.

 

So, if you’re wondering, or a friend asks you, here are 4 reasons why you should check out Fuller Yoga.

  1. Our goal is to utilize yoga and Pilates to support student who are committed to learning proper alignment or suffer from chronic pain or injuries.
  2. Our team of experienced teachers focus on a practice that will support proper alignment, your individual body mechanics, and build strength and stability.
  3. We take pride in creating a clean and judgement-free learning environment where each student can focus on the mind-body connection to reducse stress, anxiety and pain.  
  4. We love what we do!

Check out our new student specials or contact us directly for a private one-on-one yoga session.

How I got out of back pain.

January 14, 2019

You wouldn’t know this by looking at me but I have had low back pain most of my life.  Most of the time it didn’t bother me too much.  Just when I did too much or stood around a lot.  My family went on long car trips which was too much sitting and we visited lots of museums which was too much standing and those floors are hard!

Some days were better than others.  Some days I was ok and others I could hardly get out of bed and I would have to do stretches under the covers just to get my feet on the floor.  There was the constantly fiddle-ling with my hips, pushing them around twisting, shifting, anything to get relief.  When I did too much it hurt more, and when I did too little it hurt more.  But I never really took it too seriously.  I’m an active person and figured it was par for the course. Until the winter of 2015.  I believe when we got a snow storm every Monday and I took that time to sit and do my accounting for the business.  Boy was that a bad idea!

I hardly ever sit. And sitting that long repeatedly resulted in one day not being able to put my arm behind my back and feeling some serious numbness and tingling down my arm into my forefinger.  I went to the doctor, got an MRI saw some things going on to look out for in the future but it wasn’t until I saw the good people at Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury until I started to understand what was gong on.

First, I was loosing the cervical curve in my neck so my neck was flattening out; not good. And second, I found out I was born with a lumbosacral fusion and an additional fusion on the transverse process to the sacrum.  This was kind of a big deal and so many things started to make sense.  Now I understood why the left side of my back hurt more than the right.  Why I was constantly manipulating my left hip and why the left leg dominated when I was a young gymnast.

I also adjusted my yoga and pilates practice a lot.  I started to scale back on stretching my hamstrings too much which was beginning to de-stabilize my pelvis and work at strengthen my glutes and stretching my quads and hip flexors.  And in addition to starting chiropractic care which helped a lot.  I coupled that with massage and using The MELT Method and the Yoga Ropes Wall before before an adjustment.

I’m fortunate that I understand the body and know how to navigate around pain and spinal issues.  In the end my best advice is to tell you it’s a process. And be consider the following:

-Get an x-ray first and have someone knowledgeable explain it to you.. Manipulating the spine without knowing what is going on underneath the hood is not the best use of our time or money.

-Find yoga pilates and fitness professionals who truly understand the body.  If they have worked through injuries themselves then even better.

-Get chiropractic care and be pro-active around your appointments.  Stretch before hand or get a massage.  Even still learn The MELT Method.  These small practices can really advance your care as they tell the muscles that have been pulling on your bones to stop what they have been doing and relax so your adjustment can really take hold and get your spine back in alignment.

-Reduce your stress.  Take walks out in nature and remember this is a process.  Breathe In and Breathe Out. And finally…

-Never Give Up!

Now I can honestly say I am in less pain than I have been in in my whole life.  Sure there are moments that are not so good but they are far and few between.  Plus, when I start going down that slippery slope I know what to do.  Stretch, strengthen, MELT, massage and make an appointment with the chiropractor and do my practice!

To book a private session with one of our certified instructors please email: hello@fulleryoga.com.  We look forward to working with you and help facilitate your journey our of pain.

Word for 2019!

December 29, 2018

This year I thought let’s make it simple.  Let’s pick a word that we want to be an overarching theme for 2019.

So instead of resolutions and regimens let’s just sprinkle a little word into our year, our months, our weeks, our days and relationships. Maybe it’s the start to your day.  Wake up, stretch a little and say the word to remind yourself or your intentions and desires.

Afraid you’ll forget it?  Tattoo it on your arm! Although I did see a woman who had inhale tattooed on one wrist and exhale tattooed on the other. (No just kidding) Find a cheap canvas from Michael’s and make it an art project.  Get your kids involved maybe they have a word too.  How about saying it out loud before each meal?  Could you answer the phone with your word?  That might be fun!  Instead of saying hello we say Joy!  This is ______________how can I help you?  Our students have begun to find their words like fabulous, peace and unicorn.  Don’t rush it.  Let it come to you.  Open your mind, relax and see what bubbles up.  Whatever it is make sure the word brings a smile to your face and a lightness in your heart.

Meet me for the big reveal on Facebook  Tuesday Jan. 1st 2019 and tell us…

WHAT’S YOUR WORD?

– YvesMathurinPhotography

Have you ever heard that you should cut your hair on the New Moon? Well, the idea is that as the moon grows so does your hair. So cutting it at the appropriate time can make or break your lovely locks. Check out more info here.

This applies to your New Year’s resolutions as well. You see, we spend all this time gearing up for the holidays only to counteract them with resolution for January 1st to do things differently like eat better, quite sugar, workout more, start yoga, stop drinking, and start saving more money. But whatever the resolution, we usually fail by Martin Luther King Jr. Day and then we say to ourselves I HAD a dream.

The timing for New Year’s resolutions is simply wrong. Just like the phases of the moon we need to work with the phases of the calendar. December 21st is the shortest day of the year and September 21st is the Fall Equinox. So somewhere between September 21st Fall Equinox and December 21st we should have contemplated and established what we would really like to change in our lives and make our resolutions on December 21st so our resolve can grow with the days ahead.

Another thing we should do to help our resolutions stick is to ask if we are really ready for things to be different. Sometimes we only say we want them to change but we don’t really want life to be different. We are too comfortable doing what we’ve always done.  We’re used to it. We understand this misery. We don’t want to rock the boat and bring up the fear of actually being happy and fulfilled. We don’t want to try to change and find out we failed again and we are back where we started. Better to not even try than to risk failure. I mean you’ve done this resolution thing enough times to know it doesn’t work, right?.

But have you really?

When was the last time you took action on making a change? When was the last time you wrote about what you like and dislike about your life and how you experience it? When was the last time to really took an honest look at how you are contributing to the things you don’t like in your life? Or made a commitment to yourself, God, and people who can hold you accountable; that you will do whatever is necessary to make things different.

The hero story is all around us. She goes out into the world wanting to fulfill her dreams and passions. But along the way there are battles, struggles, fear, loss, dark places, death, and enemies ready to take her down. It doesn’t come easy. Then, when she has had enough, she finds her resolve, her commitment to find a way no matter what, and the courage within to change. She begins to prevail. Slowly things shift. Changes start happening in her life one day at a time and she celebrates them. She starts to see the little achievements and daily wins that will bring her to her rightful place in the world and she is grateful. Then when time passes, she looks back and realizes she is fulfilling her passion, being of service, enjoying lots of love in her life, and, of course, making lots of money.

So honestly, until you are ready to get down in the mud and use it to bring you to a better place, start making some serious commitments and set a date that works with the solar system nothing will really change. What are you ready to do?

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud–the obstacles of life and its suffering. . . . The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. . . . Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying, and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness, and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” 
Goldie Hawn

Let’s face it as much I love yoga I get pretty tired of the scantily clad 24 year old women hyper-extending their hips joints talking about peace and tranquility as they discover their true self.  Look.  When you start a yoga practice especially over the age of 30 there are certain poses that as cool as they are, just aren’t in the cards.  It’s never going to happen!  More importantly it never should.  One of the principle guidelines of yoga is right action.  Forcing your head to your knee in Pyramid Pose after having done no stretching in your life would not be right action but a hamstring tear waiting to happen.

But that does not mean don’t do yoga.  Indeed do yoga and lots of it and often.  The more you practice the more flexible you will be.  The more flexible you are the less stiffness in your body.  The less stiffness in your body the less pain and risk of injury.  You get the idea.  Plus, there are so many wonderful non – Instagram benefits to be had with a regular yoga practice.  Like feeling more peaceful and less stressed out after every class. Regular yoga practice can help in reducing back pain, having the awareness to breathe through feelings impatience (especially around the holidays), better circulation and reducing gut issues like constipation, and flatulence.  Yoga can even help to reduce anxiety.

If you are under the age of 30 well, go slowly towards putting your legs behind your head or 10 minute headstands because all of that will have an impact on your body later in life.  Will you be kept out of the kingdom of enlightenment if you do not achieve lotus?  No.  But if you practice often and enjoy the ride on your mat then enlightenment can truly be yours.

Change can be hard!

October 31, 2018

Change is not easy for most of us and big changes are even harder.  We have to dig deep and find courage, and put on acts of bravery and great faith to adjust to something new.  Fall is the season of change.  The Earth teaches us how to just let go.  When the branch can no longer support us or hold us just let go and fall gently to the support of something new.

Change is fiery and vibrant.  You can see the reds, oranges and the yellows bursting a the seams to bring in the shift.  What happens when things don’t change and they should?  The get heavy, stale and dis-eased.  What stops us from making the changes we need to when we know they need to be done?  Fear.  Fear holds us back from all things new and wonderful.  We try to find excuses and justify why we don’t change jobs, stand up to someone or create boundaries for ourselves instead of just admitting that we are afraid.  We don’t like the not knowing when we have to make adjustments, loose someone or jump into something that is (although wonderful) different than before.

Take some time this Fall to ask, “What needs to change in my life?”  “Where can I be more courageous and take that leap into the unknown?”  “What kind of support do I need to ask for to help me as things transition?”  and most importantly,  “How am I acknowledging the fear that arises around change?”

When it comes to change call more love into your life.  Whether that is doing something loving for yourself or a neighbor or even a stranger that may need some help.  Do something anonymously that will help you feel a part of something larger.  Opening us to love can help when we are in transition.  Getting out of your box and empowering others gives you great strength to take on change and help you not feel so alone as you step into something new.  Look for signs of love.  Love in others, love in animals, nature and love in the courage of so many people who have embarked on a new journey of their own before you.

 

Respond with love…always.

Yoga is only the half of it

October 24, 2018

There is a lot to be said for good nutrition when you want to stay in shape.  We all know we shouldn’t eat fried food or packaged food but you may not know that certain foods we think are healthy can actually end up hurting us in the end.  We could end up with more aches, pains and inflammation in our bodies that leaves us uncomfortable and hangry.

We love yoga and a daily routing of stretching and breathing exercises is good for reducing stress, increasing strength and flexibility, but what you eat can play a big factor in how well you can do your yoga and how you feel after.  I’m sure you have heard that gluten is the new evil but wouldn’t you like to know why?  Sure cakes and cookies are bad too but is there any dessert we can reasonably have?  Come find out how good nutrition can help you with weight loss, decreased stiffness in the joints, less anxiety and more energy with our resident nutritionist Deb Orosz this Saturday at 12pm at Fuller Yoga Glastonbury.

Got questions about how to navigate your food intake through the holidays?  Now is the time to ask your questions and put a game plan together so you can stick to good health throughout the winter.  With regular yoga and good nutrition you will feel better than ever.  And wouldn’t that be nice?

Looking for something more personal?

Book a private consultation with Deb here   http://bit.ly/2yvjR2a