Posts In: yoga

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?

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

Meet Kristina!

June 5, 2018

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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.

 

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.

If you think a yoga teacher training isn’t for you think again. It’s a life changing experience!

Whether you’ll ever teach or not it’s about doing the work and transforming yourself into a more authentic version of yourself.  You deepen your knowledge of an activity you love and as my teacher Alison West told me. Yoga will change your life. And boy was she right.

So I’ve put together the Top 10 Reasons you would want to take the Fuller Yoga Teacher Training.

  1. Learn more about the yoga practice you love. The history, the philosophy, lifestyle choices in being a “yogi” and why they work.
  2. Learn more about your body and how to keep it safe. Those who dive into a yoga practice without having good knowledge of body mechanics get injured more quickly than those who know how the body should and shouldn’t move.
  3. You get to throw around big fancy words like dosha, citta, samskara and vashistasana and actually know what it means.
  4. You will get an opportunity to understand yourself better. Fuller Yoga teacher training is about diving deeper to understand what makes you tick. As Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
  5. You will get to do more yoga than you ever thought possible. Our training requires you to practice, practice, practice, and keep a record in order to get credit for all those hours on the mat.
  6. You will know how to teach to everyone. Our program is comprehensive. You won’t graduate only knowing how to teach to one type of yoga student. Whether they are beginners, devote practitioners, injured, or in their advanced years you will know how to teach a class specific to that demographic.
  7. Make new friends. Yoga Teacher Training is about sharing the love of yoga. Bonding over tea and texting each other to ask how you pronounce Utthita Hasta Pandangusthasana. Besides, these friends are embarking on a journey of health and well being which will be a great influence all around.
  8. Gain confidence! Whether you end up teaching or not you will gain more confidence being in front of people, sharing your experience and taking a leadership role.
  9. Giving is getting. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing someone say, “ah, that’s just what I needed, “or “thanks, my back doesn’t hurt anymore.”
  10. Make some money. You probably won’t retire on your yoga earnings but teaching and continuing to practice will keep you out of the old folks home with a little extra change in your pockets.

For more information on the Fuller Yoga Primary Yoga Teacher Training please contact or click here.

Recently this question came across my yoga mat.  I fear I can hurt myself in back bends but I’m curious about your  All Levels Back Bending workshop would this be appropriate for me? What are the benefits of back bending?

Well quite honestly you can hurt yourself stepping off the curb.  Anything you do without awareness can cause injury or pain.  However, with a qualified instructor who guides you into and out of your postures anything is possible.

Back bends are a great way to stimulates the central nervous system, revitalize the organs and counter balance our way too forward bending culture. They bring awareness to your back body, create better posture and help open the heart which can also help with depression and anxiety.

Back bends can be simply lying on your back with your feet on the floor lifting your hips up but they can also be so much more.

Should you take a workshop?  Absolutely.

Yoga workshops are the best way to do something correctly and get the most knowledge out of your instructor.  You will learn how to safely go into and out of back bending sequences as well as understand how “warmed up” the body has to be to properly achieve any back bend. Workshops start slow and it’s a focused effort on one or two postures so everything you do will be toward the end set of back bending postures. Plus, there are usually less people than in a regular group class so you will have the extra time to ask questions and get the help you are looking for. You will also find out what set of muscles are limiting you from a more expansive back bending practice.

Sign up and take a back bending workshop, ask a lot of questions and bend over backwards with the pure joy of it!

Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible. ~Bob Harper

For class and workshop information visit www.fulleryoga.com

 

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The worst thing you can do is expect the next person to be like the last.  I find it all the time especially in the business of being a small yog studio.  Teachers expect the new studio they begin teaching at to be like their previous or current one.  I find myself reminding them often Fuller Yoga™ Studio is not xyz studio and we do things differently here.

The same is true for your practice.  Each time you come into Crow, Triangle Pose or Half Moon Pose and expect it to be like the time before you will most likely be disappointed that it wasn’t as good as before or shocked that you did it better.  Your expectations can set you up.  You may miss some really great things because you expect it to be bad or you may walk away feeling like crap because you expected it to be so great.

So how can Fuller Yoga™ help you manage your expectations? How can The Fuller Mat™ help you not get stuck assuming your current practice/studio/relationship should or will be the same as the last? It’s easy.  From the very beginning Fuller Yoga™ is designed to put you completely in the moment by focusing on the flow of your breath and your ability to move fluidly.  Unlike practices that tend to repeat the same sequence of postures, Fuller Yoga requires you pay attention to how you move from one pose to the next discover the nuances and shifts that  keep you open for discovery, inquiry and new experiences.

No Fuller Yoga™ practice can ever be the same.  Because it is so connected to breath and approaching the postures from movement rather than adjusting your body to the pose it will always be organic, flowing, and free from expectations.

Join me in discovering the next level to your practice with a week long Fuller Yoga retreat       Feb. 8-14th, 2015 at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica.

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www.yvesmathurinphotography.com

10. Be willing to do lots of different things.  Take 30 days and go to a few yoga studios do DVDs, take a private pilates class.  In (more…)