Spring is here and we are ready to embrace the warmer weather, enjoy the different blossoming flowers, and the list goes on…
Many of us feel inspired to clean out our closets, storage and homes. We want to get rid of the old things we not longer need and clear out any clutter around us… Many feel the need to detox their bodies as well by incorporating different cleansing practices. Whether you are fasting, juicing and/or incorporating some detox yoga classes, you are ready to have a clean start. While all of these things are wonderful, the question is… Have you ever thought about cleansing for your mind as well? After all, the mind and body are highly interconnected to one another.
We all know that when things are going well we are happy, energized, full of positive thoughts… You get the idea. But what happens when we are depleted, make a mistake or things don’t go they way we planned?Yup, we begin to have some not so great thoughts about ourselves, the situation, particular person, etc…
Have you ever slowed down just enough to see what’s in your mind? You may be surprised on what you may find. Especially when you are not actively concentrating on a task and you have idle time… Right then is when the thoughts that have become habitual show up the most.
It has been estimated that a persons has about 70,000 thoughts per day. How many do you think our positive thoughts? What do you think about the quality of your thoughts are when you’re in a rut? How many of the same thoughts have you been experiencing for years now becoming deeply rooted…turning into beliefs? On the other hand, how can you continue to instill, enhance and multiply the positive ones?
Let’s try this simple but effective technique that can be done anywhere any time (even as you stand at the check out line). Start to pay attention to your thoughts and the qualities of those thoughts. Next pay attention to how you feel. Feeling good = positive thoughts while feeling upset, angry, etc = not so great thoughts.
The best way to begin the MIND’S cleansing process is through MEDITATION.For some this practice come easy but for some others not so much. I know that when I feel out of alignment my first thought is “I don’t feel like meditating today… It’s ok I can do it tomorrow” but guess what? I know that right then is when I have to meditate the most… I make myself sit there and pay attention to the thoughts that come up. Even though during those days my meditations are not the easiest ones, I always feel better after sitting in meditation…
It is so important to continue to meditate even when we don’t feel you want to. Don’t get discourage if you notice negative thoughts come up. That is actually how the cleansing process begins!!!
There is lots of information out there regarding meditation. I am sure you will find what’s best for you, but two of my favorite guided meditations come from Deepak Chopra.
If you feel inspired to add a simple and quick yoga detox flow you can click here for one of the classes I put together for you.
I would love to hear how these practices have worked for you and what results you have experienced
Spring is the perfect time of the year to clean closets, clear out things from our homes, garage and/or storage that we no longer use or need… The Spring season is the ideal time of the year to renew and cleanse our bodies as well.
The human body has a natural way to detox so we can get rid of waste products and environmental toxins we may encounter, but sometimes our bodies need help or a boost to eliminate these waste products.
Today, I would like to invite you to try these simple yoga detox practice that can help your body detox and cleanse itself.
In addition, you can take your cleansing process a step further by including or adding additional cleansing practices of your choice. I recommend an all natural 3-5 day juice detox along with yoga practices. I suggest mixing active practices with some more gentle ones to receive a maximum cleansing and enjoy the benefits of your efforts. This combination will help you feel more energized, light and healthier.
While cleansing, fasting and detox practices may not be for everyone, anyone can benefit from a yoga detox program. Especially if you’ve been feeling sluggish, experiencing digestion problems, lack of stamina, poor concentration, aches and pains, or skin problems.
I created a simple but effective yoga flow that I would like to share with you… So are you ready to flow, sweat, play and detox?
Start by sitting in a comfortable position… Please keep in mind that you can add any vinyasa of your choice to move between poses.
1- Sited Twist: Inhale and lift arms up and interlace your fingers while rotating your palms up to the sky. As you exhale rotate YOUR TORSO to one side. Be mindful that your hips don’t twist with you. You want the twist to come from your spine without the assistance of your hips… Inhale Center and Exhale to the other side. Repeat few more times on each side.
2- Cat/ Cow with Simhasa Breath: Cometo hands and knees (aka table top). For this practice we will reverse the breath so as you inhale round the spine and as you exhale arch your back and stick your tongue out as you exhale through your mouth.
This type of breathing is very cleansing and relieves tension in the chest and face. According to traditional texts, Simhasana destroys disease and facilitates the three major bandhas (Mula, Jalandhara, Uddiyana).
3- Surya Namaskar/ Sun Salutations “A” and “B” Moving through few rounds each of these wonderful namaskars will help you generate internal heat while coordinating breath and movement.
4- Navasana (Boat Pose): Great core work to build core strength and heat in your body. When we work our core we are also activating our digestive and elimination system. Practice this pose 3 times holding it each time for 5 full breaths. To rest between each cycle you can bring the sole of the feet together and fold forward into Baddha Konasana. Here is a video demoing how to do Navasana.
5- Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose): From chair pose or Utkatasana, bring your hands to heart center and exhale twist to one side. Bring the elbow to the outside of the thigh as you press the palms together to help you twist form the spine. Please make sure that your knees are even and one is not forward of the other. This will indicate that you are collapsing on one hip and the twist is not coming from the spine. In addition your hips should be lower than shoulders. Hold for 5 full breath before going to the other side. Finish by folding over your legs in Uttanasana or standing forward fold.
6- Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1): From down dog bring one leg forward placing your foot between your hands. On the inhalation lift the chest and arms up. Make sure your front knee is over your ankle and that your back leg is active and strong. Extend the arms up to the sky and hold for 5 breaths.
7- Parvottanasana or Piramid Pose: From Warrior 1 extend the front leg and as you exhale fold over the leg bringing the hands to the earth. Keep the hips even or leveled as you create lighten in the spine. Anchor the big toe mound on the mat and you engage your quads to protect the knee from hyper extending or locking as you stretch your hamstrings.
8- Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle): This is another twisting pose that will not only activate your internal organs but will help you cleanse from the inside out. It is like a wet towel that you ring out as you twist it. Here is another helpful video for this pose. You can add a connecting vinyasa to do the other side. After completing both sides come to a sited position.
9- Pascimottanasana (Sited Forward Fold): Extend both legs forward. You can sit on top of a folded blanket, grab a strap and/or bend your knees slightly if you feel you hips are rolling back (posterior tilt) and/or your hamstrings are tight. Exhale fold over your legs while keep elongating the spine. Imagine you are trying to reach the crown of the head towards your feet. Hold for few breaths. Forward Bends compress the abdominal organs and the kidneys and liver are stimulated. They help improve the digestive system and activating the elimination process as well.
10- Setubandhasa (Bridge Pose): lie down on your back, bend your knees and draw feet towards your butt. Draw shoulder blades towards each other and as you inhale lift hips up while pressing down on your feet. Keep feet hip width apart and parallel to each other while keeping the toes pointing forward. Hold for few breaths then lower hips down one vertebrae at the time. You can let the knees drop to one side then to the other few times to release any tension in the spine
11- Apanasana (Wind Relieving Pose): bring both knees to the chest and cross your arm over or under your legs and give your self a big hug. If you like you can lift your head towards your knees and the lower head back down keeping shoulders relaxed and neck long. Hold for few breaths and the release.
12 - Viparita Karani or Legs up The Wall: For this pose you will need a blanket or bolster against the wall. Start with your support about 5 to 6 inches away from the wall specially if you know your hamstring are tight or closer if you know they wont be an issue here. Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support a few inches, tuck the support a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again. Extend the legs up towards the ceiling. Open your arms out to the side palms up while letting your shoulder blades move away from the spine.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. To come out, slide off the support onto the floor before turning to the side and then to sitting.
Pause for few breaths in here before continuing with your day.
Drink plenty of water to help your body continue with the cleansing process.
Over the years, many students have asked me how they can practice yoga poses on their own. They want to learn proper alignment and how to avoid injuries.
They love when during class, I come around to help them get the most out of their poses. I usually give them cues or settle adjustments that helps them gain better awareness of their physical and energetic alignment.
My hearts swells with excitement when I see in their faces and bodies light up like a Christmas tree, when they find a new feeling and/or something awakening within them.
Many times I wished I had more hands to get to everyone or simply more time to break down and practice one pose… but for now I want to bring different mini videos on “how to” get in certain poses risk and pain free.
My goal is for you to learn how to get the most out of your yoga poses with proper alignment keeping you injury free. I will offer tips on how to check your own body alignment to ensure maximum benefits.
In addition, I will offer some practical and easy to follow cues to avoid common mistakes helping you take your personal practice to the next level.
Today, let’s start with Revolved Triangle also known as Parivrtta Trikonasana.
This January I was asked to record few more classes for YogaVibes.com… We had a great time filming these classes and I hope you have a great time practicing with us from wherever you are.
This is Arm Balancing Class is the first one of the four recorded. If you are ready to balance on your hands and break a sweat, practice with me during this great vinyasa class.
Here is one student had to say about this class
“Absolutely amazing class, I got deeper into these poses than I ever have before thanks to Adri’s expert sequencing and instruction. Beautiful job by Daphne singing at the end as well. Thank you for a great class.”
Yoga is a life long practice that can provide us with the opportunity to heal, find inner peace and become whole. For many, yoga is a sacred practice (I am not only referring to the physical practice… I am also talking about yoga as a practice of many forms) while for others, yoga is a physical practice consisting of a series of postures that can help release stress or lose weight… As yoga teachers, we need to continue to be mindful of the core teachings of this wonderful tradition.
The study, practice and teaching of yoga is a lifelong journey, during which, we have the opportunity to learn from a myriad of teachers along the way. We may encounter some amazing and fantastic yoga teachers and some not so great ones as well.
When teaching yoga, we need to keep in mind the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects of the individual. Presenting these teachings in a safe and healing environment brings forth true transformation. When teaching to group classes, we need to consider the class level, room temperature, and cleanness of the space – the overall feeling of the room…
Like many respectable professions, yoga teachers also have ethical standards and professional behaviors to follow. These ethical and professional standards not only refer to the student – teacher relationship but they also refer to integrity, personal behavior, language, monetary compensation, advertising, community service, and much more…
I love the saying “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” or “When the teacher is ready, the students will appear” During our lives many of us had a teacher or a series of teachers that inspired us, challenged us to grow, and guided us when we needed it the most. Some of these inspirational teachers may not have been aware of their thankless gift.
As a teacher, knowing how much of positive impact you can create is inspiring in itself. If you or anyone you know has had a negative experience with a teacher, you know how hurtful this can be …
It is so important that ALL teachers (math, physics, yoga, etc) have to remember how we can uplift or deeply hurt someone with our words, actions or lack of them.
The eight limbs of yoga serve as a guide on how to live ethically in this world. The Yamas and Niyamas offer us a series of guidelines and concepts that can and should be adapted in our daily lives. With constant practice and awareness that our asana, pranayama, and meditation practices give us, we will be able to reach Samadhi – a state of union with the Divine. We will be able to reach our fullest potential and truly embody what yoga is all about.
As a yoga teacher we need to do our very best to understand and live by these eight limbs to the best of our ability. Yoga teachers we are not simply speaking of concepts, ideals or cuing poses that are separate from ourselves and/or to be used only in class…. We are transmitting a way of living, a connection to these principles and offer guidance that is already part of the teacher at all times.
A yoga teacher can only guide their students as far as she/he has gone herself in her personal journey. While teaching yoga, we may never know the impact we have on our students. That is why it is so important to come from a place of truth, compassion, honesty and humility.
Many students see their yoga teacher as mentors, especially when the teacher is experienced and/or mature and they have established a positive and trusting student-teacher relationship…
BUT, what makes a yoga teacher a mentor?You can say that a mentor is someone that has experience and knowledge in a specific field.
This transition from teacher to mentor may happen unconsciously but it only happens when the student has absolute trust in the teacher and is seeking knowledge, growth and guidance from this more experienced source.
Whether your students see you as a teacher, their maha teacher or as a mentor and friend, the opportunity to empower, encourage and make a difference in their lives is a GIFT that we should all appreciate, respect and give thanks for.
Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you”
Let’s celebrate the Divine Feminine Power. Let’s celebrate the Goddess Archetypal energy within each of us! Let’s dedicate this 9 days/nights to release old patterns, bring abundance, beauty and wisdom into our lives!
I have been struggling withfinding my voice in my personal life for a while but I am happy to say I have found it. I’m finally able to express myself, set healthy boundaries and feel empowered. The beautiful part is that the more I practice the easier it becomes to speak from my heart without fears and limitations. You would think that as a yoga teacher for many years now, who stands in front of people on a daily basis, I would not have problems expressing myself but I did.
I don’t remember exactly when or how it happened but I can tell you that in several occasions I did not express myself out of fear and false beliefs imbedded in my subconscious. I know I am not the only person that has struggled with expressing himself or herself freely and fearlessly. This is why I feel compelled to share this with you.
Over the years I have met and continue to meet people that somehow have lost their power to speak their truth. The reasons have always been different but the result has been always the same “DESEMPOWERMENT”.
When I teach, I have always found the right words. I feel strong and confident about what I am teaching, what I want to say and what I am trying to invoke in class. However, when I spoke out of the classroom or out of the comfort of my home, I lacked the ability to express myself confidently.
Sadly, when we can’t express ourselves, our feelings, thoughts and beliefs, we start to lose our sense of inner power. Our throat chakra becomes imbalanced and blockages in this area can occur. We feel disconnected, unheard, and helpless.
Personally, I had to do a lot of spiritual and emotional work to be able to reconnect with my inner strength. It was not always easy or had immediate results but the pay off has been very transformative and empowering.
I have always admired people that were not afraid to say how they felt, what they had in their minds and to speak up when necessary. I love to see people find ways of self expression either through their work, clothes, music and so on…Deep within I knew that all of us had the ability to do this but somehow we lost it either partially or completely.
Dwelling in the past and trying to figure out why, where or when you lost your voice no longer matters. What matters is what you can do now to change it.
Everyone is different and their healing process may be diverse and unique. At the beginning, as you begin to speak up, you may feel awkward. You may feel you were too harsh or that others will judge you for saying what you needed to say. But as you continue with the process you begin to feel more confortable, you feel more confident and capable of being heard.
We all have a mission, a dharma and purpose. We were given a voice, a way to express our uniqueness, our gifts and talents. When we don’t express ourselves freely and fearlessly, we are doing a disservice not only to ourselves but also to those that are seeking our help, our specific talents and gifts.
To quote one of my favorite songs at the moment…”If you love it like I love it and you feel what I feel inside… If you want it like I want it. Then baby let’s get it tonight… If you feel it say HELL YEAH… HELL YEAH! Say HELL YEAH… HELL YEAH…”
So go on, reclaim your voice and share your gifts and talents. Express and empower yourself! If not now when?
I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Conexion Con Accion few weeks ago. The topic was about yoga and the Dallas Yoga Conference in Septemebr 14th-16th.
It was really amazing to speak about something I love in my mother tongue. Believe it or not, this was my very first time to talk about Yoga in Spanish. I felt truly inspired and grateful for the opportunity to reach and connect with the Spanish community… Making one of my deepest dreams come true… To bring the Yoga community together regardless of lineage, gender, language, believes, etc.
I cannot help but to hear John Lennon’s song “Imagine” playing in my head… Imagine all the people living life in peace… You may say I am dreamer but I am not the only one… I hope someday you’ll joins us and the World be as ONE”
I hope you can join us in September for this fabulous event. For more information, please click here
I would love if you can help me raise money for Make -AWish foundation for North Texas. Part of the proceeds from your tickets bought using this link will go to them.
It is exciting to witness how times are changing and our perspective continues to evolve. Today we are becoming more conscious on the impact we make on the Planet Earth and how it affects our well-being.
I cannot help but wonder why if our ancestors had the answers to co-existing with nature to bring harmony, balance and wellness, yet it is taking us this long to re-discover this information.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many have heard about yoga and other mind and body practices as a way to restore the inner/outer balance we all seek, but how many have heard about Ayurveda?
Did you know that Yoga and Ayurveda go hand and hand?
Ayurveda can be translated as the “Science of Life” originated in India over 5000 years ago. Many describe Ayurveda as “The Mother of All Healing”.
Originally, Ayurveda was taught and passed down orally to their disciples. It was not until few thousands years ago that some of the teachings of Ayurveda were put into print.
Just to get a perspective on how these ancient teachings have impacted our Holistic approaches today, we can say that therapies like homeopathy and Polarity have their roots in Ayurveda.
The main difference between Ayurveda and the Western Medicine is that Ayurveda seeks to prevent illnesses or imbalances. Ayurveda focus is to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle through yoga, diet, awareness of our habits and thoughts, and use of natural remedies.
Ayurveda states that each individual has a unique constitution or specific combination of basic energies called Doshas. The three Doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Each dosha has general mental, emotional and physical characteristics that influence each individual differently depending on your unique combination that forms your constitution.
This emotional, physical and mental combination can be disturbed and become unbalanced by diet, emotional or physical stress, bad choices, season, weather, etc.
How can you restore your inner balance and improve your health? Well the answer lies on your original constitution determined at the time of conception (Pakriti) and knowing your tendencies to imbalance (Vikriti).
The best way to know your unique Dosha combination is to see an Ayurvedic practitioner to help you. If you cannot find one and you would like to have a general idea, you could take few Ayurvedic tests online. I can honestly tell you that you should take several of them and average the results out but keep in mind the results may not be 100% accurate.
Thankfully, Ayurveda is becoming more mainstream and many yoga teachers are now studying Ayurvedic principles and are including some of those practices in their lives and recommending it to their students.
I have been including many Ayurveda practices in my daily routine for years now, and after my intensive AyurYoga training at the Ayurveda Institute; I have a better understanding on how Yoga and Ayurveda can help me and I can help others make positive changes in their lives.
If you are interested on learning more about this amazing practice, I would recommend reading “Ayurveda – The Science of Self Healing”. This is one of my favorite books written by one of my teachers Dr Lad. You can also contact your local Ayurveda practitioner or search for Yoga teachers that have some type of Ayurveda training to help you combine this two amazing practices.