Yoga and Stretching

Posted by on Jan 17, 2019 in Uncategorized |

I often do the heavy lifting, running or other types of cardio, but the best fitness results for me, have come from pilates, stretching, and yoga types of workouts that focus on stretching the muscles. 

Plus, the latter types of workouts allows you to open up so much space in your body and consequently in your mind to receive new experiences.

Morning Routine 

One of the first things I like to do in the morning is a figure 4 on my back while still in bed. Then, go on all fours and do a cat-cow, wiggle the hips around in a freestyle. Then extend one leg back and the opposite arm to the front. With each inhale, bring them a little higher. With another exhale, open your top hip to the side. You can stay like this. You can open the arm to the sky. Alternatively, bend the knee of the top leg and bind them together behind your booty. Push the top of your foot into the arm and feel the shoulders expanding and the heart making way for fresh experiences. Slowly release back to the ground.

There are many options you can do from all fours or even plank pose if you want to challenge yourself. See what your body needs, listen to it and you’ll 100 % feel good after it. How can you not? You’ve given the body the ultimate love of refreshing it from the inside and out. If at any time during the workout, you feel your body shaking, it is just your body forming stronger muscles.

Next, you want to transition into a pigeon pose. This is great to really open up the hips and prepare them for days when I do sit behind the desk or in a car a lot. Pigeon Pose is the perfect exercise for that.

For a stronger, better spine, it is important to keep moving. As you probably know that many aches derive directly from the spine. Once you’re familiar with different types of workouts, you can easily take one exercise and reshape it into another form to fit your needs. Listen to your body and stretch the areas that need to be stretched. Open up space within your joints. I get it, it hurts. But the little pain that you feel is the one making you more flexible and in turn quicker and your muscles less prone to injuries. When you do hit a wall with pain, first breathe through it. Use each inhale to release the tension in your mind and then on the exhale deepen into the stretch—until it goes. Hold in the pose and breathe through anything that crosses your mind.

Obviously, don’t do any sudden movements. It should all flow and look like you eased into the stretch. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, you make the definition of the muscles at the gym and fuel them right in the kitchen while the place where you really take care of them is your yoga mat with stretching exercises. Utilize your knowledge and be in tune with your body to the max.

Read More

Blending Martial Arts and Yoga

Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 in Uncategorized |

a lot in common more than what we could imagine. Incorporating one to the other will definitely boost your overall health, mentality and spirituality.

Both the Yoga mat and the dojo (a temple or place where martial arts is practiced) are considered sacred spaces where one practices a discipline that leads to enlightenment. Both spaces are where you face your fears, conquer your doubts, become mindful of your reactions and be aware of your surroundings and of what’s happening within. The only difference is that, in martial arts, you are engaged by an outside force, an opponent or a partner, while in yoga, you practice individually.

Improving Martial Arts through Yoga

The common stereotypes when we hear the word “martial arts” are high kick, staccato and harsh movements. This is due to media influence, especially in Hollywood action movies. But these kinds of big movements require a lot of effort and are often times inefficient during a combat. Big muscle groups connected to the pelvic floor, such as the back, buttocks, thighs and abdomen, are engaged, and all of it is fueled by twisting and by the lower limb’s power. Yoga’s lower body and hip-opening postures will be a great help to improve the lower body and hips’ flexibility, while the standing poses help strengthen the legs. Here are some poses you can try to help develop flexibility and leg strength:

Pigeon Pose/Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. This is one of the best hip openers in the practice. This stretch opens the rectus femoris, psoas and the rotator muscles on the hips, which allows big movements without any strain. Open hips are very essential for an efficient and effective kick in any martial arts discipline.
To do the pose: Begin by planting your hands on the floor and make sure it is parallel to the shoulders and your knees parallel to the hips. Place your left knee next to your left wrist and slowly sink your hips down to the ground. Then, extend your right leg back. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and then, reach your hand forward as you exhale. Continuously lower yourself with every exhale until your forehead is resting on the mat.

Standing Squat Pose/Utkata Kunasana. This pose improves the strength of the glutes, hips, legs, calves and ankles. A strong lower body and the right clothing are vital for a powerful kick that can surely throw the opponent on the floor. It is also a good chest and hip opener.
To do the pose: To begin, stand with your feet apart and turned outwards on a 45-degree angle. Increase the distance between your feet as you send your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Remember to keep your weight on your heels. Place your hands in prayer and hold the pose for 10 breaths.

Martial arts require a rigid body to be able to strongly block attacks, and blending yoga into it to counter the rigidness can be a powerful combination. They are two different disciplines with the same philosophies. This is a practice that can truly transform and elevate those who discover their amazing fusion!

Read More

5 Important Life Lessons You Can Learn from Yoga

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Uncategorized |

Most people in the Western world see yoga as a healthy exercise that helps you stay fit. However, those who have been in it for some time know that it’s more than just physical fitness. There is more to attending a yoga class than just twisting and turning your body. This article looks at simple life lessons that one can learn from yoga and their application in life.

Balance in Life is Key

One of the key requirements that a yoga student is expected to observe is balance in life. This means that even when you are facing an extremely busy schedule during the day, you still need to reserve some time for yoga. This helps one to understand the benefit of balance in life. This lesson applies to every aspect of life. Without balance it is easy to get overwhelmed and break down. Balance out things in your life and you will be able to go far.

Everyone can be Vulnerable

Regardless of which field you come from in life, one quickly learns that you cannot always be perfect. As you learn new poses and engage in challenging exercises, you learn how to embrace failure. You also learn to listen to your body and when to take things easy.

In the same way, you cannot beat yourself up every time you fail at a new venture. Failing only shows that you are a normal human being who can learn and improve. Learn to take new lessons in stride and accept where you are in life.

Be Willing to Learn

Most people who come to yoga soon learn that it is a practice that challenges your view on most things. You learn that each pose has relevance in life and how you relate to others. Basically, there is always something new to learn in life. You can never know everything that there is to learn. We should therefore have an open mind and be more willing to learn on a consistent basis.

Life is not Always Symmetrical

One of the things that one starts to understand after joining yoga is the strengths of each part of the body. There are those who then realize that their left hand is not as strong as the right one. Others understand that their feet are not equally flexible.

Read More

Yoga Poses To Start Your Morning Off Right

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Uncategorized |

Mornings are rough for most people so let’s keep your morning yoga session sweet and simple. Here are 4 of the best yoga poses to get your morning started off in the right direction.


Before you start with any of the poses it is important to take the time to breathe and become present. Start by taking 5 long, deep breaths. You can take these breaths standing but it’s best if you take them while sitting comfortably.





Start this pose on your hands and knees. Take a second to align your hands so that they are underneath your shoulders and align your knees so that they are underneath your hips. On your next inhale allow your stomach to lower towards the floor while reaching your head and hips up towards the sky. This will create a nice and gentle arch in your back. On your exhale pull your tummy in towards your spine bringing your back up past neutral into a round. Your hips and head are now towards the ground.

Continue this back and forth motion as you breathe for five to ten breaths.



Child’s pose


Return to your neutral position on your hands and knees. Place the tops of your feet against the mat/floor and you may choose to slightly open your knees apart and bring your feet together. From either of those positions, lower your hips back so that you are eventually seated on your heels with your arms out in front of you and your chest resting towards the floor or your knees.

You may rest your forehead on the floor or rest your head with your face pointing to either side. For the morning you might want to do this as a relaxed position and really let your body melt towards the floor.



Forward fold


Start this one by standing upright with your feet hip distance apart and your hands resting by your side. Inhale your arms up towards the sky and lengthen in your back. As you exhale, fold forward at your hips keeping your back straight and your arms will come down to the floor or your shins. Once you have gone as far as you can with your back straight you can round your back and let your head be heavy towards the floor. You can stay here as little or as long as you like.

Take your time as you are coming out of this pose to make sure you do not get too lightheaded.



Tree Pose


This pose will get you feeling balanced and aligned for your day ahead!

Start by standing with your feet hip distance apart and your hands on your hips. Gently shift your weight into your left foot so that you can lift your right foot off of the floor. Lift your right foot up so that it is as high on your left inner left as possible. Your right knee should be turned out wards your right. The “ideal” pose will have the sole of your right foot resting against your inner left thigh.

Once you have your foot as high on your left leg as you can comfortably get it, lift your arms up towards the sky with your palms facing one another. Stay here for three or more breaths. To come out of this pose simply bring your hands and foot back down. Be sure to repeat on the other side as well!


These four poses are meant to create comfort, gentle spinal movement, and balance in a subtle and approachable way. Give these a try tomorrow morning or even right before bed.

Read More