Category Archives: Tutorial

Five yoga poses for better waves

Since moving to the west coast, surfing has played a (large?) role in my life. What we do on the weekends (tofino, tofino. tofino), where we travel to (“is there an ocean?” “is there surf?”), when we travel (winter storms = best waves). I’ve written about surfing and yoga poses I do here and recently, lessons from learning to surf here…. Read more »

finding your “core” strength

When many people think about a strong core, they picture someone with “six pack abs”. But our functional core is actually much more complex than this over simplified notion, and whether your abdominals are super defined and underwear model-worthy or not says nothing about how strong your core truly is. Functional anatomy Rectus abdominus, or “six-pack”, muscle is actually just the most superficial (closest to the… Read more »

summer yoga series: back-to-school desk stretches

For some of us, September still means “back to school”. As a postdoctoral fellow working at a university, September means campus comes alive again with students and so does juggling research and teaching opportunities! As summer vacations wind one, it also translates to more time at my office. For those of you who spend a significant portion of your day… Read more »

summer yoga series: one-leg balance with tree pose

Vrikshasana or tree pose is a wonderful pose to help you feel balanced and stable on your journey as summer slowly transitions into fall. Tree pose not only helps with balance, but also tones the muscles of the core and legs… and it’s not as easy as it looks! Regular practice over time helps build inner and outer strength and a feeling… Read more »

summer yoga series: vacation and tie stretches

So, you probably know how the story goes… One thing leads to another and here we are thinking about the changing of the seasons and throwing on a sweater and a pair of socks! Well, no, not really. But, it has been a while. How are you? After 2 (glorious!!) weeks in Hawaii with friends and family (celebrating a wedding!… Read more »

summer yoga series: head-to-knee forward bend

Head-to-knee forward fold is a great way to take a few introspective moments during our day. It lengthens our back bodies (spine, hamstrings), and the asymmetry in the pose allows us to focus on the sensations in one-side of our bodies at a time. Benefits Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins… Read more »

summer yoga series: low lunge + twist

Low Lunge twist is a yoga pose that helps to improve the strength and flexibility in your hip flexors, legs, back and knees. The twist helps encourage spinal flexibility and stimulates digestion and internal organs. Spinal mobility is extremely important as we age for balance and posture. Twisting is great for preserving movements of looking both ways before we cross the… Read more »

summer yoga series: cat cow

Last summer I did a weekly book review series “summer reads” (life in the balance, the great work of your life, WHOLE, enlightenment for idiots, prions, may you be happy, and poser) and this year I’m going to provide you with a weekly yoga pose. Something simple that you can integrate into your own yoga practice, or maybe inspire you to start… Read more »

Tutorial: Forward bend

Forward bends can be done both sitting AND standing. Forward bends create length in the spine, relieve any compression, and can promote introspection. But, tight hamstrings and physical patterns, such as rounded shoulders (hello, sitting in front of a computer for hours! check out some great info on “un-rounding” your shoulders HERE) can make forward bends challenging! Forward bends also provide… Read more »

yoga for rounded shoulders

To address tight and rounded shoulders, something commonly seen in our society, we can use the serratus anterior and middle trapezius to balance and stabilize the shoulders. In our body, muscles work in pairs – one contracts, and opposing one relaxes (i.e. think about how your biceps and triceps work when you bend your elbow). This means that we need to exercise… Read more »