Today's yoga tidbits: up-dog, cobra, and cow pose, all in the family

Today’s yoga tidbits: give yourself options in this transitional posture. We do a lot of planks, chaturangas, and updogs/cobras in a vinyasa class. When a teacher or your home practice calls for upward-facing dog or cobra pose, and neither one of those don’t feel right, take cow pose instead. Cow pose; on all fours, hips above knees, palms beneath shoulders. Inhale your beautiful heart forward, shoulders back, and tail up. 
All three above provide beautiful heart and shoulder opening, core and leg engagement. They’re in the same family, they just look a little different. Empower yourself in this practice, never hesitate to listen, and trust yourself.

stephynow

Today's yoga tidbits: grow your crow

Tuesday yoga tidbits: crow pose. Prep yourself to take flight. Start by propping yourself on blocks, like the first photo. Spread your fingers and press your palms down. Take cat/cows here, drawing your belly in. If this pose is scary, take time to feel your legs lifted off the ground, a block is great for this!
When you’re ready, whether it be minutes, weeks, months or years; place a block underneath your toes, wrap your knees around the outside of your triceps as high up towards your armpits as possible. Get your booty high. I like to call this is in class: crow wrap. It’s a wrap and squeeze, no need to lift-off. If your body is shaking, it’s building strength.
When you’re ready, play with lifting one set of toes up off from the block.
The block helps your lift your bum. It’s one way to play. Play every damn day!
#howtoyoga #blockparty #yogathang

stephynow

practice is practice, tweaks and turns in trials and errors

The sneaky secret to binds: long limbs. A little yoga humor to swipe the seriousness off this Monday.
I’m a big fan of using props; straps, blocks, wheels, blankets, books, chairs, window-sills, etc. That’s the thing about a home practice, there’s endless exploration while rolling around on your living room floor. Incorporate what is useful and you’ll discover the tweaks and turns in trials and errors, you’ll feel the body as you let go of timing and cues, and this is where the greatest self-study exists.
I’ve discovered so much about myself by simply playing, exploring, and navigating my own body through breath and cycled postures. I fell in love with my practice when I combined my studio practice into my home. Both hold space in my heart for different reasons and teach me in different ways.
Practice is practice.

Lean in and love with your eyes closed.

stephynow

yoga: come from a place of welcoming and less from a place of correction

I like words to captivate what is versus what is not. Our definitions and perceptions are so vast and representative of our lives. Take for example the practice of yoga. There are many lineages, sacred texts, traditions, evolutions, acrobatics, and ways we connect with this practice. Please do say and feel what the yoga is for you, by all means. I think we can get so caught up in pushing the “yoga agenda” from a place what it is versus what it is not. As if we have to prove it from right vs wrong. When this takes place, we begin to lose sight of the importance in offering from a place of love and compassion. I think we do a disservice to others when we come from a place of right vs wrong or when we "should" others in their practices. 
As a teacher, I will not tell you that your connection with this practice is wrong or right, for that matter, because it just is. If you come to sweat bullets, tighten your ass, press your best self forward, move to manipulate your body, challenge the mind, call your spirit, come to heal, chant, unite with the divine, meditate every damn day, whether you breathe through your nose or out your mouth - this is your practice. Yoga shows up in your life exactly the ways it’s supposed to and it may look and feel different from your neighbor. It’s the practice of connection to your highest self.

It’s universal.
All encompassing.
All worthy.
All practices.
Let us encourage each other in every way. Less coming from a place of correction and more coming from a place of welcoming.
However way we get there. 

stephynow


and then you fall.

And then you fall.
The more I fall, the less I hesitate the next round of face-plants, belly-flops, limb-sling-shots, vessel pops, bruises, aches, oops’, knee-to-nose-bleeds, cuts, scrapes, rug burns, triple chin, sweat rashes, and all that messy goodness that spills out from the practice. The best moments are the shaky ones, the trials, errors, and flopping around like a fish out of water. This creates pathways to trust the body, feel the body, and know the body in this realm of questioning. All the sensitivities moving and coordinating together navigating the dance with breath. I like my practice here. The way I stumble through its puzzling moments that will never find its way to completion.
The practice is always moving and changing and evolving and it’s exactly the way it’s intended to Be.

stephynow