4 Fun Yoga Pose Transitions

4 Fun Yoga Pose Transitions

Hello my friends,

this weeks blog it's all about transitions. We all find ourselves transition from an old job to a  new one, from one relationship to the next, from one project to the next, from one meeting to the next, from one to do list to the next, from waking up to going back to sleep. These periods of transition are meant to slow down, take a deep breath and to reflect.

Instead of rushing from one pose to the next in our yoga practice, let's start to slow done and take a look on how we transition from one pose to the other. Let's take the time to turn inwards. Feel your breath, observe your thoughts and once you feel ready, start to transition mindfully and with ease into the next pose.

I broke down 4 Fun Yoga Pose Transitions for you where I invite you to slow done and take a look on how your transition from one pose to the next. Please take the time to turn inwards. Feel your breath, observe your thoughts and once you feel ready, start to transition mindfully and with ease into the next pose. Enjoy and please share below how you felt after.

With Love & a Big Smile, Your VAZA 

 

1. Chair Pose to Forward Fold

Stand in Mountain Pose, inhale, and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Keep the palms facing inward. Exhale, bend your knees and find the center of balance in each foot. Try to bring the thighs as parallel to the floor as possible, sending your buttocks behind you, imagine sitting on an imaginary chair. Firm your shoulder blades against the back and send your tailbone down toward the floor to help keep your lower back long. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and build up to 1 minute.

 

Benefits:

 

  • Strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles, arms, and spine

  • Stretches the chest and shoulders

  • Reduces flat feet

  • Stimulates the diaphragm, the heart, and the abdominal organs                       

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Transition into Forward Fold:

Begin to exhale while you start to bend from the hip forward. Keep the knees bent until the tummy comes closer to the thighs and place your hands next to the feet. Release the crown of the head towards the floor and start to relax the neck. Feel free to shake the head from side to side.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves

  • Strengthens the thighs and knees

  • Keeps your spine strong and mobile

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2. Downward Dog to Plank Pose

Coming into Downward Dog plant the hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Spread through the palms, index fingers, and base of the thumb and separate the feet about hip-width apart. Creating an inverted V-shape, start to reach the chest towards the thighs and the tailbone towards the ceiling. Begin to push the floor away from you as you reach the heels closer to the mat (feel free to keep the legs bent if you have tight hamstring muscles). Keep the shoulders open. For beginners, place a block underneath the hands to increase shoulder opening.

Stay in this pose anywhere from 1-3 minutes.

Benefits:

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

  • Energizes the body

  • Stretches the shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and legs

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when utilizing head support (pillow, bolster, or block)

  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis

  • Improves digestion

  • Relieves headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue

  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis

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Transition into Plank Pose:

Inhale and begin to lift up high onto the toes and start rolling forward. Stack each vertebra on top of the other until the shoulders are directly over the hands. Continue breathing and start to push into the hands. Dome up from the space in between the shoulder blades. Lift the sternum up towards the ceiling. Draw the ribs together. Keep lifting your belly button towards the spine. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Rest if you need to!

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the wrist, arms, shoulders, chest, core, and lower back

  • Strengthens the muscles around the spine

  • Builds endurance and stamina

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3. Low Lunge to Half Split

From Downdog lift your right leg up and coil the knee to the nose. Step the right foot with control in between the hands and lower the left knee down to the mat (fold your mat for extra support). Keep the toes untucked. With the next inhale stretch your arms overhead. Face the palms towards each other while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Lengthen through the spine.

Take 3-5 breaths.

Benefits:

  • Hip stretch

  • Stretches the hamstrings, quads, and groin

  • Encourages a full range of motion in the lower body

  • Strengthens your knees

  • Helps build mental focus

Transition into Half Split

From Low Lunge begin to lower the arms back down. Frame the right food with both hands. Start to straighten the right leg and send your hips back. If the floor is too far away, then you can either bring the hands to the hips or place blocks below your palms. Hold for 10 breaths. Rest if needed or step back into Downward Dog. Come into Low Lunge and Half Split on the left side.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstring, thighs, groin, and lower back

  • Great preparation for the full split

4. Warrior II to Half Moon

This is a little bit more of an advanced pose. Please feel free to practice Half Moon with a block below your hand and place your lifted leg with the foot against the wall.

Warrior II

Stepping into Warrior II, take the legs about one leg length apart. Your front foot faces forward. The front knee bends to a 90-degree angle with the knee aligned above the ankle. The back foot is at a 45-degree angle with the heel down. With the next inhale extend your arms out to a T, reaching the front arm forward and the back arm back. Start to gaze over the front fingertips while you relax your shoulders down and away from the ears. Draw the ribs together, engage your tummy slightly, and release the tailbone down.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hips, groins, and shoulders

  • Opens your chest and lungs

  • Builds stamina and concentration

  • Energizes the arms and legs

  • Stimulates your digestive system

  • Relieves back pain

  • Develops balance and stability

  • Therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel, and infertility

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Transition into Half Moon 

Start to lower your hand to the front foot, either on the floor or on a block. Then step your back foot closer to your front foot. Begin to shift your weight to the front foot and hand. Make sure the weight is equally distributed. Next lift your back heel off the ground, start to stack the hips and shoulders and continue opening through the chest and tummy. Flex your back foot and imagine that you’re pressing the foot into an imaginary wall behind you. Keep the standing leg super strong zipping the inner thigh all the way up. Hold for 3-5 breaths. To come back into Warrior II, start to slow down and lean the weight of your upper body into the standing leg while your top leg transfers back to the mat.

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WANNA LEARN MORE FUN YOGA POSE TRANSITIONS?

THEN JOIN US FOR OUR NEXT WORKSHOP @THECENTERSF

 

 

 

 

Get your handstand on

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Use these 6 poses to get ready for Handstand.

 

Whether you are a total newbie or a longtime handstand fan, these next 6 poses will help improve your Handstand.

1st Pose: Three-Legged Down Dog

From Down Dog, lift your right leg up and bring it as high as your hip with toes facing down. Continue to lift your leg to create a straight line from your right hand to your right foot. Hold it there for 5-10 breaths, then lower your leg and repeat on the left side. Feel free to rest in child’s pose in between.

Tip: Please keep your hips square. If you aren't quite sure if your alignment is correct, then practice in front of a mirror or videotape yourself.

  Three-Legged Down Dog

Three-Legged Down Dog

 

2nd Pose: Plank with Leg Lifts

Start in Down Dog and shift forward into Plank Pose. Please make sure to align your hands below the shoulders. Engage your core and dome up from the space in between the shoulder blades to round the upper part of the spine (protract: the opposite of melting your heart). Once you find the stability in your Plank Pose, start to lift your right foot 3-4 inches off the ground leading with your inner thigh and pointing the toes. Hold here for 5 calm breaths and make sure you stay in the shape of Handstand. Switch to the left side with the option to rest in between.

 

Tip: Through the protraction of your shoulder blades you will gain more stability in your shoulder girdle and make the Handstand posture more accessible.

 

 Plank with Leg Lifts

Plank with Leg Lifts

 

 

3rd Pose: Standing L-Shape

Stand one-leg distance from a wall and lift your right leg to hip height. Place your foot flat against the wall and start to straighten your leg without locking your knee. Make sure that the leg you are standing on is directly below your left hip. Keep pushing into both feet and draw the ribs in together. Lift both arms overhead while finding the same protraction in your shoulders as you did in Plank Pose. Flex both hands. Hold here for about 30 seconds before switching to the other side. 

Tip: Activate both feet by pushing one foot into the wall and the other into the ground. Keep your hands flexed with palms facing up  (imagine you could push them against the ceiling) and make sure to keep the back aligned.

 Standing L-Shape

Standing L-Shape

 

4th Pose: Inverted L-Shape against the Wall

For me, this pose is harder than the actual handstand as you really have room to cheat. All of your body must be engaged and working in synchronicity.

Start by sitting down and facing the wall. Extend your legs with your feet touching the wall. Take your hands to the outside of the hips. Keep one hand there and then turn around placing your other hand back where it was. You are now in Short Down Dog with the heels against the wall. Begin to walk up against the wall as you straighten your legs to not slide back down. Draw the belly to the spine, keeping your legs and arms straight, and find the protraction in your shoulders again. Breathe calmly for 5-10 breaths. Then rest in child’s pose. Repeat 3x’s.

Tip: If you have really tight hamstrings, then set up in Down Dog facing the wall to enter the L-Shape this way.

 Inverted L-Shape against the wall 

Inverted L-Shape against the wall 

5th Pose: Inverted L-Shape with Leg Lift against the Wall

Return to the L-Shape Pose. Once you feel strong and stable, then start to raise your right leg toward the ceiling, leading with your inner thigh. Stop once you find a vertical line from your right hand to your right foot. Keep everything engaged and hold the position for 5 breaths. Lower the leg and switch to the left.

Tip: Focus your gaze towards one point on a wall to ensure your neck remains relaxed. 

 

  Inverted L-Shape with Leg Lift against the Wall

Inverted L-Shape with Leg Lift against the Wall

 

6th Pose: Half Handstand Toe at the Wall

 

If you feel stable in Pose 5, then it’s time to step it up a notch. Set up in your L-Shape against the wall. Lift the right leg up like you did in Pose 5, begin to shift your point of contact to your left big toe, and start to lift up your heel. Stay committed in keeping everything engaged with both hands equally working together. Take 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

 

Tip: Continue to engage your core muscles to maintain balance. 

 

  Half Handstand Toe at the Wall

Half Handstand Toe at the Wall

 

If you’d like to learn more about Handstands, then join us at our next Handstand workshop

 

 

5 things that happened after i started meditating

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              5 Things That Happened After I Started Meditating


Yes, I am a Yoga teacher, but I had the hardest time when I started out meditating on a daily basis. I tried various different apps, videos, and audio meditations, but nothing really inspired me to stick with it for a long period of time. Every time I sat down to meditate my back started to hurt, my legs fell asleep or I got so distracted by my to-do list and so anxious about not getting everything done that day, that I gave up. 


It wasn't till I discovered the incredible podcast “Happy, Holy & Confident” by Laura Malina Seiler (which unfortunately is currently only available in German) that I really got into the swing of daily meditation. I felt like she was speaking directly to me in her podcasts as she highlighted how much her life had changed through meditation. Of course, I have read and heard about all the amazing benefits of meditating, but it wasn’t till I signed up for Laura's “Rise Up and Shine University” that I started to properly experience those benefits for myself. The course lasted a whole month and each morning we started with a guided meditation. As I focused on my breath, my body started to get used to the position I was in and thus naturally adapted to sitting for a longer period of time. At the beginning, I still felt an urge to open my eyes to check the time, but after 2 weeks I started to look forward to my morning meditation as I could feel the positive impact that it had in all aspects of my life.
 


1) I have more focus

I thought meditating on a daily basis would take up too much time to enable me to get everything done on my to do list, but the truth is that because I meditate I think more clearly and instead of rushing from one task to another, I focus on one task at a time and then move easily to the next task. My mind doesn't race ahead of itself fretting about to what to do next, instead I stay in the moment and finish what I have to do and then move on.


2. I am a nicer person

Instead of losing my s*** every time something goes wrong I look at the bright side and take a couple of breaths. I am a nicer and more patient person when I meditate as I am able to look at situations from the perspective of others to see where they might be coming from. It has completely changed the way I interact with others.


3. It helps me to cope with stress and anxiety

Before I became a mom I didn’t even know how anxiety felt (I know, lucky me right!!!), but since my daughter was born that has changed rapidly. She stopped breathing the first night I took her home due to acid reflux but thanks to my husband, or should I say “my hero”, she was ok and we celebrated her 4th birthday not too long ago. That incident, and the thought of losing her triggered my anxiety: I was constantly worried that something would happen to her. Meditating is helping me to cope with that terrifying thought, as well as helping me to deal with day to day stress.

4. I sleep better

Because I was dealing with anxiety I also had trouble sleeping. While my daughter was asleep I would wake up a million times to check on her to see if she was still breathing and if she was OK. After months of sleep deprivation, I felt like a walking zombie. Thanks to meditation, I feel calm and I am able to fall asleep quickly. I manage to stay asleep, too, even on those occasions when my little monkey climbs into my bed now and then :).


5. I eat better

I have always loved to eat, but now I make better decisions when I am at the grocery store or at restaurants. I ask myself how the food will really make me feel, and I base my purchasing decisions or menu choices on that answer.



The Bottom Line


I am overall a better version of myself.
This is probably one of the best benefits of meditation. I know who I truly am and what I am capable of. I share my feelings with others more openly. I have the courage to be who I really am, I take more risks, knowing that it is the only way I can truly grow. I know what is important in life and that I can reach anything that I really desire.

Try to start meditating for 10-15 minutes every day. Find a comfortable seated position (you might want to use a meditation pillow or blanket) and start to focus on your breathing. I use a little mantra when too many thoughts pop into my head and I feel I get too distracted. As I inhale, I tell myself “Let” and with the exhalation, I tell myself “Go”. Try out a few different mantras and see what works for you. Be patient! Sit down every day for a minimum of two weeks and use a journal to write down the changes you experience throughout the day. Have fun, and feel free to share your experience with me.


                                                          Love VAZA

A Yoga Guide for busy Mom's

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A Yoga Guide for busy Mom’s

Hello Ladies,

I always get asked by my students on how often I do practice yoga. The truth is whenever I get the chance and that isn’t very often. As a mom of three with a full-time job, it is really hard to stick to a regular workout schedule. In the beginning, I felt guilty and sometimes even ashamed to admit that I am not practicing yoga every day, but I got over it quickly because I am a big fan of those feelings. Instead, I decided to practice whenever I have some free time in between classes or between mommy duties. It is hardly a full 1 hr practice, but  I found a way to integrate into my daily life to deal with all the stress that comes along with being a busy mom. Today I like to share with you a view tips on how to integrate yoga into your daily routine. 

 

  1. Start with bringing awareness to your breath

When we are stressed, feeling anxious or under a lot of pressure we have the tendency to shorten our breath. Start by becoming aware of your breathing pattern on a daily basis. The more you catch yourself breathing a shallow and short breath, the more aware you become to take a deeper breath instead. By breathing deeply you trade incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. It can slow down the heartbeat, it stabilizes your blood pressure, it relaxes your muscles, you release endorphins and your detoxification improves.

 

Exercise:

Lie down comfortably, relaxing your muscles and start to breathe into all corners of the lungs. Feel how you are expanding through the rib cage and all the way down into your diaphragm. 

If you are familiar with this deep breathing pattern, you can also practice it standing every time you catch yourself of feeling stressed, anxious…

I practice this kind of breath while brushing my teeth, sitting in the car, cooking or walking to work. The more you practice, the calmer you get. 

 

2. Plan your yoga practice on a weekly base

For example Mo-Wed-Fr. You are more likely to stick to a routine wants you planned it and don’t forget to blog the time on your calendar. I know from my own experience that stuff comes up sometimes, but still, try to make it your highest priority. If you feel happy and healthy, your kids will feel it too. In case you can’t stick to the planned time, try to find another time slot on this day or the next. Don’t feel guilty if it’s not happening, it’s the trying that counts! Be flexible!

 

3. Adjust the practice to your needs

My yoga practice before my pregnancy was very different then of course after I gave birth. I had Diastasis Recti (DR) and my pelvic floor felt like it was pretty much non-existing. It took me over three years to regain my full strength and to feel finally home again in my new body. Honor your feelings and don’t let anyone shame you for wanting to lose your pregnancy weight. Yes, you will get your body back, but sometimes it takes a lot of work and dedication, but it is possible with the right nutrition and exercise. Always get the green light from your doctor first and listen to the signals of your body. If you are dealing with DR and pelvic floor weakness feels free to check out my Diastasis Recti Fix Program that I will release by the end of the month or find someone that can help you to regain your strength to avoid any further problems. 

 

4. Be flexible with the length of your practice

Before I had my daughter I would practice sometimes for 2 hrs on a daily base, but as soon as she was born I was happy to squeeze in 20-30 min. Once she got older I simply integrated her into my practice, she got her own mat and I put some toys on it to make it even more attractive. Depending on how patient she was that day I could sometimes practice for 1hr (felt like eternity :).

Now my practice is about 20-45 min long. I roll out my mat, start with meditation and breath work and then enter my asana practice where I allow my body how to move that day.

5. Have fun

Listen to what your body needs and then decide what poses you want to practice. There is no right or wrong, some days a more vigorous practice feels amazing and sometimes a restorative practice is all you need. Try different yoga styles and decide whats right for you! Feel free to check out my video or search for other videos on youtube.

 

Have a great week and feel free to reach out for any further questions. You can find my daily teaching schedule at www.vazayoga.com and if you haven't joined our “VAZAYOGA MAMA LOVE TRIBE” on facebook please send an email to vanessaracinet@yahoo.com to get access to the group

 

Love VAZA

A Yoga Flow for busy Mom's, duration: 12 min, Enjoy Ladies

Join the "VAZAYOGA MAMA LOVE" Tribe

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Hello gorgeous Mamas and Mom's to be

It's time to lift each other up! instead of judging ourselves and others, let's instead support each other by sharing our experiences, tips and tricks.

I am super excited you will be joining our Mama Love Tribe. Together we are stronger and less lonely.

Please click the link below, answer the question and you are good to go. 

Feel free to invite other Mama friends too! Once you joined the group please introduce yourself and let us know how we can support you on your beautiful journey. 

Love VAZA

https://www.facebook.com/groups/182899319128444/