EMBODY FEST 2019

Hello, beautiful sunshine yogis!

These past few months, and let’s face it, these past few years, have been overwhelmed with change. I, like many of you, have recently been faced with immense transitions. This year has been a quiet severance of so much of my past. I’ve let go of old relationships, business partners, and living situations that were no longer serving me. I’ve been tried, tested, and pushed like never before. The good news? I’m back with renewed energy and now have the time and space for my most exciting announcements yet.

Please join me for a tropical retreat this November 29 – December 5 at Embody Fest 2019, in Mexico! This year the festival will take place at Chalananda Retreat Center, a thermal springs waterpark! Immerse yourself for 7 days with yoga, dance, wellness, and pool parties. I will be offering morning yoga classes in paradise with the best student-teacher ratios of any festival out there. With a price point to fit accommodation for every budget, say goodbye to crowded workshops and gift yourself the adventure of wellness. To learn more about Embody Fest 2019, visit https://www.embodyfest.com/chalananda

I’m also thrilled to reveal that I will be releasing Vazayoga on an yoga app, Hurray!!! Soon my videos will be available for you to enhance your practice anywhere with more accessibility and ease than ever. While I’m still tinkering away with the mechanics, please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNom_wY9kpQZHGR5noH2d6g for my latest videos.

For those who have not heard, I am no longer in association with empoweredbeyond. Please unsubscribe from the newsletter if you no longer wish to receive updates.

As always my dear friends and comrades, please visit http://vazayoga.com/schedule to stay in the loop with my current schedule and events.

Sending love, light, and gratitude your way.

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Happy Mothers Day

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Hooray for all the incredible moms in our lives!
Hooray for the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, aunts, wives, partners, sisters, friends, fellow moms, mentors and women who love with a mother's heart. I am a super busy mom myself and as a thank you for everything you are doing
everrrrrry single day, I created 5 simple but super yummy recipes for you. In fact, they are so easy, that you can simply forward this email to your loved ones to get spoiled on Mother's Day.  Great plan right!!!

 

 

 ~ Berry Smoothie Bowl Bliss ~
 

 blend 1/2 cup frozen medley berries

1 cup of nut milk

toss in a view spinach leaves

1/2 banana 

1/2 avocado 

top with pine nuts, chia seeds, and coconut flakes 

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~ Avocado Pomegranate Toast ~ 

toast 1 slice of gluten-free or regular bread  
spread it with 1 avocado
toss fresh pomegranate & hemp seeds on top
finish with a sprinkle of sea salt

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~ Fennel Navel Orange Salad ~ 
Cut 1 Fennel Bulb
& 1 peeled Navel Orange
toss with 1 Cup of Pomegranate Seeds
& 1 bunch of dill

Dressing: 
use the juice of 1 Orange
mix with 1 tbls. of olive oil, salt & pepper 

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~ Vegan Carrot Soup ~

1 onion (diced)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

3 carrots (chopped)

2 red peppers (chopped

1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

salt/pepper to taste

splash of balsamic vinegar for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, heat 1-2 tbsp of water (or broth) and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the carrots, peppers, parsley, vegetable broth and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes*, until the carrots are soft.
  3. Using a blender purée the soup until smooth. Alternately, you can carefully transfer the soup to the blender, purée and return to the pot. A blender will make a smoother soup than the immersion blender, but I prefer the little bits of texture that remain.
  4. Serve hot with a drizzle of balsamic, if using.
  5. top with chilli flakes & cilantro

~ Tripple-Berry-Crumble-Pie ~

 I bought a gluten-free crust  :)
see the full recipe: 
https://www.onelovelylife.com/triple-berry-crumble-pie/


AND don't you worry beautiful Mama, 
I also got you covered for the day after Mother's Day!!!
 Burn off the extra calories you indulged with my
Core Flow Video


NEW CLASS!!!
EVERY FRIDAY
STARTING 5/10 @ YOGA GARDEN SF
HEATED VINYASA
LEVEL 2/3 7:40 AM - 8:40 AM

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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