Now that the Marin breeze has started turning toasty, I’ve started to ready my running shoes. I’m signed up for my favorite event of the year: Lululemon’s SeaWheeze half-marathon (wooohoo!) and I’m determined to run with the 10-minute pacers this year! I know the pitfalls though, running IS a major source of physical stress and that means we need to be extra careful with our bodies, especially when we are in training. As a yoga teacher I’ve seen far too many runners turn up to class with shot knees and hurting hips, and those guys are hard to replace! If you haven’t hit pain yet, prevention is key and that means taking a little time re-calibrate in between those epic jogs you’ve been logging! So let’s do some yoga! I’m so excited to be pairing up with Marin Running Company in San Anselmo so that you can take a much-needed off day in your running routine this season. March 12th at 6:30pm I will be teaching a special one-hour yoga class at the store specifically so all you runners can get a nice gooood stretch-out! Sign-up here to join us!
If you can’t make it to the sesh, I’ve also designed this pretty little podcast so you can show yourself some love wherever you are at. I recommend hitting your mat on an off day or right after a run, but avoid it right before, we don’t want to send those loose hips out in the world quite yet!
Back and Side Bends for Abdominal Stretching
With your feet hip-width apart stand with your hands in prayer. Lifting your hands to the sky on an inhale, exhale to the right side stretching that side body. Your abs do quite a lot of work when you run so it’s nice to start with some gentle stretching of the abdominal region. Lift back up on an inhale and then sink to the left side. Give yourself some time on both sides to really dip into the stretch, then inhale back to center lifting your chest and heart toward the sky and then lean back for a lower back stretch (yes, back’s are important when it comes to running!)
Chair Pose for Knee Strength
Inhale back to standing and (with your arms still raised) sink your hips into chair pose. Your feet should still be flat to the ground and your lower back should be slightly arching as your arms run alongside your head with hands outstretched to the sky. Reach your chest forward and then sink a little lower. Stay in this pose as long as possible and let those thighs burn! Chair pose helps reinforce all those lovely little muscles surrounding your precious knees and we need that strength to support those joints as we run! Shape em up!
Downward Dog to warm up those Calves and Stretch out your Back
So now let’s get ourselves into a nice downward facing dog. Amazing how this pose somehow does everything doesn’t it? Just a great standard. Once you are in the pose, bicicle your knees a little bit so your joints get some movement. Come up onto your tippy toes and lift your hips to the sky as if pulled up via a string attached to your lower back. Then sink your heels as low to the earth as you can. Push forward with your hands so your head falls between your shoulders. This pose lenthens your spine, stretches your calves and shoulders, and finds some stretch in your achilles, just an all around beautiful pose to counter balance those runs you’ve been doing!
Frog Pose for a Hip Stretching Intensive
Most importantly of ALL running specific poses is a really amazingly powerful hip stretch. Not only do we store emotions in our hips, but we store tension and physical stress there. After a run, your hips do this little tightening number, that unless stretched out, will accumulate and cause major issues down the line. Hip replacement anyone?? Ok, so we don’t want that so I’m going to let you in on my favorite hip stretcher- Frog pose! This beaute is killer! To start, make sure you have some padding to support your knees and calves. If you are already experiencing knee trouble on this one, you probably want to opt out and go for your hip stretch of choice. With your legs parallel each other wider than hip width, point your toes outward (like a frog). Extend your torso and fold forward coming to rest on your forearms. Then you need to find the magic spot! Try sinking your hips lower or walking your head forward or backward until you find that perfect balance! See if you can find some relaxation in this pose. Relish it!
Reclining Bound Angle Pose for Hip and Back Support
Finally, make your way out of the pose and lay on your back with the palms of your feet touching and your knees relaxing to the mat. Put one hand to your heart and the other to your belly and let your body fall open. This gets a tiny little arch back into your lower back and is also a gently hip opener all in a nice relaxing package. Enjoy your rest, you’ve been doing so much and running on top of that has been adding extra stress to your body. Thank yourself for spending time with your body and with your breathe!
Everyone is all geared up for the some New Year detoxing and I just couldn’t help but get in on the action. After all, disease starts in your digestive system (long before it seeps into other areas of your body) so giving the good guys a clean sweep once in awhile can mean the difference between health and… well a health breakdown. Here are some poses to help get your gut all hunky dory, and your bowel movements super regular. Follow the instructions here or listen to my guided podcast to up the anti on your experience. The podcast recording is available here (see below) as well as on iTunes!
Forward Folds for Tummy Prep
Scoot onto your buns, take a deep breath while stretching your arms to the sky, then float your hands forward to your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, no big deal, just bend your knees a bit! This pose gives attention to all my faves: Your liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus. And its no wonder! Putting a little crease in your belly means your giving your insides a nice gentle massage. Perfect for getting things moving again. Let’s keep the party rolling.
Shoulder Stand for Gunk Removal
Gently roll down your spine while pulling your legs up to the sky. Prop your back on your hands and stretch upwards as much as you can. It’s rare that gravity pulls you in the opposite direction which means your long windy intestines often accumulate some unwanted settlement. Inversion poses (anything that pulls you upside down) give gunk the chance to pick up and move on.
Bridge Pose for a Gurgley Belly
Once again we’re doing some abdominal stimulation by intertwining your hands together underneath you and pushing your pelvis up the sky. Keep your chin tucked and your legs hip width and parallel. Your belly might start talking to you right about now. It just loves all this action it’s getting.
Twists to Get your Bowels Moving
You can’t have a yoga sequence without some solid twisting love. Your tummy is oh so tired and twisting sets it free! Start by lying flat on your back, tucking your heels to your hands, and rocking your knees side to side (windshield wiper style. I like to inhale on the way up and exhale on the way to the ground. Slows it down a bit. Play around with this a little so you can really feel your tummy coming alive. Then, take it to the next level by stretching your legs flat to the ground, tucking your right knee into your chest, and then gently pushing it to the left using your left arm to gently push it to the floor. Fall deep into the twist here and let your belly do its thing. Repeat on the left side.
Child’s Pose with Tummy Massage to Keep the Colon Going
Finally, lets end with a nice gentle child’s pose: bonus edition. Sitting on your knees fold your fists into the space just below your belly button and fold forward into child’s post. Your fists may end up on their sides and that is totally cool. By putting a little pressure on your digestive system, you’re doing the final work necessary to prod all those unhinged food bits in the direction of the door. Need your fists a little bit then massage your stomach in a clockwise direction. So good.
Say a little gratitude for all the hard work your intestines take on every day and say a cheers to good health! Namaste!
When did having babies become so stressful? You’ve been dreaming of tiny UGG’s and pinning pictures of cute little ones, yet now that you pulled the goalie things just aren’t panning out the way you thought it would. But that’s OK, life is kind of like that. We come up with all these expectations for ourselves, we plan, we prep, we do everything that we are “supposed” to be doing, yet in the end, the world does what it will. Sounds scary, but it’s actually incredibly beautiful. It doesn’t mean a petit bebe isn’t in your future, I’m actuary a big believer that it is, but sometimes you just gotta stop trying so hard and start letting things happen. Sometimes you need to be OK with where you are right now and be open to everyday miracles. That’s what I designed this beautiful yoga practice for. Even better- It’s posted over at The Healthy Elements where you’ll be in good hands with the beautiful Nicole Jardim, a fellow health-coach as well as founder of FixYourPeriod.com. You’ll absolutely LOVE her site. Now let’s do some yoga!
Click here to go to the full-article!
Don’t forget! All my yoga sessions are available on iTunes if you prefer to get your yoga on to a guided podcast. Or feel free to listen to it right here! See below for the recording.
It’s here!! Christmas! My favorite time of year… Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the most chaotic times of year. Family, shopping, travel, and that drunken old uncle mean tensions can run high. But we don’t want that to get in the way of our Christmas joy right?? Right. So I’m adding a little yoga sequence to your toolbox to help you love your way through the holiday season. It only takes five minutes, involves five poses, and at the end you will feel amazing.
The title of this blog completely sums up our weekend in Vancouver. I just got back since Husband and I transformed our Vancouver weekend away to a full week in paradise (more on that later). We just loved it! We spent the weekend in a SeaWheeze oasis hitting the yoga classes, taking advantage of the massage tables, checking out the SeaWheeze store, and waiting in all kinds of crazy lines with 7500 like-minded, health-driven, vision board creating, neon-wearing people. Even the lead singer of fun. looked over the crowd to say, “Wow. You guys wear the sh** out of neon!” (yes there was a free fun. concert just for us lovely runners!) One thing was very clear, Lululemon didn’t just host a half-marathon, they created a community.
Oh, yeah, and we ran! The race was amazing and I surprised myself by running the entire 13.1 without walking or stopping! I may have staggered across the finish line and collapsed, but that is besides the point. I did it! I ran it in 2:38 which wound up being about mid-pack. I’m totally happy with that. Every step of the race I was surrounded by cheering, excitement, and a beautiful view. People held up funny signs (our favorite was the husband holding the baby and a sign that read “Hurry up! My diaper’s full!”), transvestites cheered us on in stilettos, acrobats launched themselves off the roof of Lululemon headquarters, and we ran through a Lulu “party zone” around mile 8 that got us all re-ramped up for the coming 5 miles to go. Seriously great. Needless to say, that night we hit Gastown for some well-deserved celebrating. Only we couldn’t even walk down the stairs to the bar. The bouncers thought we were drunk at first (my husband had to walk down backwards and the rest of us somehow manged to get down without bending our knees), once he heard about the run he high-fived us and gave us the comfiest seats in the joint (which I would later fall-asleep in).
Apart from the SeaWheeze extravaganza, my sister and I were in absolute Lululemon heaven and sufficently tortured our significant others by dragging them all across Vancouver in a Lululemon pilgramage. We went to the Lululemon headquarters, the first Lulu store, and the infamous Lululemon Lab Store. We finally conceded and let them drag us to a brewery. It’s a hard life.
Even after the race we kept our event bracelets on which gave us instant access to new best friends all over the city. Somehow we were always amazed that we had so much in common. You ran SeaWheeze?? Us too!!! OMG you love yoga too?? NO WAY!! Yeah it was crazy like that. We were absolutely surrounded by amazing, beautiful, and inspiring people everywhere we went. It was incredible (did I say that already?). There are no words to describe all that went down last weekend, hopefully my pictures can speak for themselves. The one up top is me just arriving to the check-in location in the convention center. We were like kids in Disneyland!
Of course we couldn’t pass up doing yoga all over the city…
Headed on our pilgrimage (that’s me on the right with my sis)
Lounging in our new gear
On to a Lulu yoga class (with a beautiful view!)
So excited at the lab store
Race day begins, sporting our chips complete with Chip’s picture, get it? (Chip is the founder of Lulu!)
The whole crew post race (that is bro-in-law, sis, me, and my husband)
How we did this after the race, I have no idea…
Showered and watching the fun. show. We were a pretty dead crowd as you can imagine
The fun is over, but we still wore our wristbands all weekend. Until next year SeaWheeze… We will definitely be back!