5 Elements to Align your Yoga Practice & Your Life!

True North Alignment

True North Alignment is the basis of all the poses practiced in Baptiste Yoga.  It is a neutral and natural alignment that will bring about a lifetime of health and ease in your body. The effects of this powerful alignment are healing and deeply strengthening. True North is used in almost every yoga pose to help create a practice that will leave you feeling integrated and whole.

In “real life” this alignment is designed to help you in making major decisions in life. Before taking life-changing steps, think of yourself aligning what you say, speak, and feel, to achieve Truth North so that you can feel “grounded and confident.” Here’s how:

    1. Ground Down Like Earth

Before you begin a yoga pose it is best to start with a solid foundation, the earth. Set yourself up for success with a solid base.  The same holds true when you apply this to the big steps in life, like deciding on a new job or relationship.

Steps –

      • Stand up and press the four corners (ball and heel) of your feet into the floor/yoga mat
      • Lift and spread out your ten toes
      • Pull your outer shins in
    1. Flow Like Water

      As you proceed in your yoga poses and/or life situation, add some flow. Things don’t always go as planned and flow allows for us to move easily with the changes.

Steps –

      • Soften your joints
      • Keep your pelvis neutral
      • Lift the front of the pelvis
    1. Build an Inner Fire

      Nothing changes if nothing changes. It takes heat (tapas) for us to make a change.  Take the fire and make a change, a shift in your yoga or life.

Steps –

      • Pull your belly into the back side of the body
      • Pull your upper ribs in
      • Tighten everything up in the mid section
    1. Soften Like Air

      Bring softness to your yoga and life by adding air in the form of a deep breath. Soften into the hard places. We tend to stress and suffer, and we forget that suffering is not necessary.

Steps –

      • Draw your upper arm bones back
      • Move your shoulder blades toward your spine
    1. Create Space for Full Expression

      Make space in your body and in your life to fully express yourself. We often hide or shrink down to be who we think we should be. Create enough space on your mat and in your life to be fully present… and take on these changes in life with peace and confidence!

Steps –

      • Hug into your center and express out through hands and feet and look up!

Interested in learning more about applying specific yoga skills to your unique life situations?  Join Julie for Private Yoga Instruction or Yoga Teacher training.

 

 

Take a Child’s Pose

Better Yoga Practice – Start with Child’s Pose

The heated power yoga class that you’re taking is about to start. It’s time to get present. Much like an adult birthday party invitation your “presence is present enough.”

The intention of a yoga mind/body practice is to shift into the present time, and out of the past and future. In order for me to acheive this personally, I come down onto my mat and consciously shift my thoughts to the present time –  and away from a rushed morning.  The reality of the yoga practice, as in life, is the fact that you can’t go around it, under it or over it- we must go through it!   In today’s world we are all guilty of being disconnected from ourselves and swept up in this emotional disconnection, by constantly doing and being distracted.  Yoga brings us back to the here and now. As my teacher Baron Baptiste says “you are either now here or nowhere- the difference is a presence”.

Just as when learning to read “… you begin with ABC”.  In Yoga you start with child’s pose, (which is also sometimes called Balasana).  This is a very basic pose & great place to start your Yoga practice.

The heated yoga practice starts in child’s pose and ends in Savasana (or corpse pose) a full circle of life in one practice. Child’s pose is technically an inversion (one of the few safe inversions in pregnancy).

Child’s pose offers the following benefits:

  • calms the body, mind and spirit
  • stimulates the third eye point
  • gently stretches the low back
  • tones the abdominal organs stimulating digestion & elimination

If you have any physical restrictions, including knee injuries, there is a variation of child’s pose where you start on your back with your feet together and your knees out wide to the sides of the room. Another variation uses a blanket under your hips, knees and/or placed under your head; spread your knees wide apart.

Child’s pose can always be used as a resting pose and is especially enjoyable after and challenging pose!

Feel free to ask me more about child’s pose or any other poses before or after class! Remember, you can always sign up for private yoga lessons at Universal Athletic Club to further explore this pose and many others!

Namaste