Your Best Yoga ANNOUNCEMENTS!

Hello There! 

Well, it feels pretty great to be here typing out a Blog Post (since it's been about 2 million years since I've written....) What can I say?? I was NOT feeling inspired to write. I hit a wall. I got busy with other things. I've missed you. 

Since I've been away, I've been happy to see that folks are still getting all sorts of information from this here Blog. This Post seems to be the most popular, which is a little concerning - are there that many of you feeling sick after Yoga?? I hope the post offers you some answers, and also encourages you to get back on your mat and try again!

I've stopped in today with a couple of Announcements!!!

First of all, Your Best Yoga is looking to EXPAND this Fall!! I would like to bring this program to more people in Winnipeg, and to do that, I am going to need to provide classes in different areas of the City. So, I am looking into additional City of Winnipeg Community Centres that will take our Beginner Friendly & inclusive Yoga program, in. I'm certainly open to suggestions as to which centres to approach, so if you are currently in a part of Winnipeg without readily available Yoga classes - let me know!! I hope to have an additional home for Your Best Yoga by August (we won't be leaving our original home of Winakwa CC) so stay tuned. 

My Second announcement is equally as exciting! Your Best Yoga will be offering a FREE/DONATION based OUTDOOR Yoga class on July 26th in support of Manitoba Underdogs Rescue!!!! Check out the poster below for all of the details. I really hope to see you there :) 

I have a couple of Blog posts planned for the next month, so, if all goes well, I'll see you again here real soon :) I hope you are enjoying Summer so far! 

- Sandra 

Real Life: 5 Brutal Truth's about Being a Yoga Teacher

Real Life: 5 Brutal Truth's about Being a Yoga Teacher

You have just completed your 200 hour Teacher Training and received your certificate. You are officially a Yoga teacher, and you can't wait to hit the ground running (or sun saluting as it may be). Before you take the leap into becoming a Full-Time Yoga teacher, I want to pass along some of the lessons (ie: Brutal Truth's) I've learned along my journey, including some things I wish I had learned sooner. 

Disclaimer: These brutal truth's include money talk but I am not implying that money/income etc. is the end all, be all when it comes to deciding on a profession. 

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How to Clean your Yoga Mat - Tips and Products!

How to Clean your Yoga Mat - Tips and Products!

When people arrive at class and start rolling out their Yoga mats, I often hear one of a couple exclamations... "I left my mat in the car - it's frozen!" (It's very cold where I live), or "My mat really needs a wash". If I hear the second statement, it is often followed by the question - "how should I clean this thing?". We have a pretty intimate relationship with those mats of ours. We lay, sit, roll, and sometimes fall asleep on them, however, we clean them a lot less often than we do our homes, floors, or clothing. So, what is the best way to clean your Yoga mat? Here's a few ideas...

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Making Yoga Accessible for Children with Special Needs - Why it's Important to me

Making Yoga Accessible for Children with Special Needs - Why it's Important to me

One of my offerings through Your Best Yoga that I don't talk much about is my "Your Best Kids" program. This program offers Yoga for children and youth with various and special needs, either in an in-home, private setting (I come to your home), or at school or other community organization. Today I wanted to give a bit of background on why this type of programming is so important to me and how I try to make Yoga accessible to children and youth with varying needs, so they can experience the joy, and many benefits, of Yoga and Mindfulness. 

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Yoga Pose: Eagle Pose Part Two - Lower Body

I'm Baaaack!!! I must say that my vacation really worked to relax and re-charge my system! I am very excited to bring the second part of the Eagle Pose tutorial to you today - the lower body. As I shared in Part 1 (check it out here if you haven't already), this pose can be very tricky. Today I'm going to show you how you can work progressively to move into this position and provide some modifications to help you along the way. Keep reading for tips on moving into this yoga pose and watch the video at the end for some visual cues! 

Pose Difficulty: Beginner - Intermediate

Step One: Warm up your legs with Chair Pose (aka Utkatasana). Chair pose is the first step to moving into the pose so spend some time warming up those Quadriceps with a few repetitions of chair. I like to incorporate it into a flow with some forward bends to equally stretch and strengthen the muscles (see video for a warm up activity). 

Step Two: From your chair pose, keep your Left foot planted, and lift your Right foot off the floor. Keeping your knees bent, cross your Right leg over the Left, like you would if you were sitting in a chair. From here you have a few options:

Option 1: Bring your Right toes to a block (or the floor if the foot reaches) to help keep your balance (best option for Beginners or anyone who struggles with balance)

Option 2: Keep your Right foot in the air and work on your balance here. 

Option 3: Wrap your Right shin, ankle and foot behind the Left shin (see video). 

Step Three: Breathe and feel!

- No matter which above option you chose try and keep the hips level and in one line. 

- Keep bending the standing leg knee and grounding down through the standing leg foot. 

- Keep you gaze soft and steady on the floor in front of your to help with your balance.

- Try to bring your knees and elbow into the mid line of the body.

Try staying here for 5 - 10 deep breaths before untangling your arms and legs - giving everything a good shake out - and then moving to the other side! 

Note: In this pose, you always work with opposite arm and leg positions, so if the RIGHT ARM is UNDER the Left, the RIGHT LEG is OVER the Left.

PS...sorry for the video quality, it's not my best. I wont be using this camera again! 

Real Life: Updates and a little Break

Real Life: Updates and a little Break

Hello!! It's been a minute since I've written a "Real Life" series post (be sure to check out some of the others by searching "Real Life" in the sidebar search option if this is your first time here). These really are some of my favorite posts to write because I get to share pieces of my life with you outside of Yoga. Today I thought I would give an update on how things have been going since I quit my job to focus on my own business and teach Yoga full-time, and also to let you know why this post is up instead of the second half of the Eagle Pose Tutorial that was originally promised (apologies). 

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Yoga Pose: Eagle Pose Part One - Arms Only

Eagle Pose - or Garudasana - is a very challenging balance pose that can look and feel quite intimidating when introduced. The problem is, if you only see the full version of Eagle in all of it's glory, you may never even attempt it, and that would mean you are missing out on the many benefits of this glorious pose. So, to avoid the overwhelm and intimidation, we are going to only focus on the upper body portion of this pose today. I am going to provide some tips, tricks, and modifications to make sure you get all the good stuff out of this stretch without having to think about balancing on one foot! Eagle Pose works to open and stretch the upper back and shoulders. I personally love it for shoulder tension that threatens to turn into a headache as it really works to release tightness from the Trapezius muscles. However, it can also be very tricky to move into if you have tight shoulders and back muscles - kind of a "catch 22" right?! Keep reading for some tips on how to move into Eagle Pose Arms, and how you can modify it to fit for you - wherever you are at in your practice! Make sure to check out the video at the end of the post for helpful visual cues. 

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"Yoga Pretzels" Card Deck Review

"Yoga Pretzels" Card Deck Review

I am constantly looking for ways to make Yoga fun and engaging for the kids I work with. Whether it's using music or playing a Yoga game, when it comes to teaching kids poses, you sometimes need to get creative! I was really excited when I found "Yoga Pretzels" card deck by Tara Guber and Leah Kalish online, because I often bring visuals when I teach, and was having a hard time finding suitable pictures of the Yoga poses online. When I received these cards in the mail I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were not only colorful and accurate pictures of Yoga poses, but there were also cards for breathing exercises, Yoga games, and partner poses included! Considering that I only paid $8.99 plus shipping, for a total of less than $20.00 from Amazon, I felt like this was a great purchase and well worth the money. 

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Yoga for Kids: Mindfulness Jars

Yoga for Kids: Mindfulness Jars

Yoga Mindfulness Jars are a fun and pretty way to help teach kids how to handle their emotions. They can help kids calm down and focus when they are struggling, and are great tools to help start the conversation about being mindful or "watching our thoughts". The idea is, the glitter represents our thoughts and feelings. Here's a little script as to how you can explain the mindfulness jar teaching to your kids, and even more importantly, how you can prompt them to use the jar to help them feel calm. 

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Yoga Music Playlist

Yoga Music Playlist

Compiling a Yoga playlist can be tricky. You don't want the music to overpower or distract from the practice, and it needs to be the right tempo for the type of practice you are moving through. Should you include songs with lyrics or without? Should the songs be recognizable or more obscure? (You don't want someone to be pulled out of focus because a song you play brings up a strong memory for them) Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite music to play during flow style yoga classes. I have included a list of songs and albums that I often use for my class playlists, and offer tips as to what point of the practice the song would suit best - some songs are great for opening and building a Yoga practice and some are great for Savasana. Keep reading for my Yoga music playlist!  

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