A low squat is a basic natural movement that’s great for your hips, knees, and ankles. If you watch an average toddler, they squat often with total ease and beautiful alignment. However, due to the amount of chair/couch/car sitting we do, many people have lost the mobility to properly squat. This video with QSY Director Leena shows a simple modification to help you get more comfortable in a low squat, and eventually you can reduce the support over time as you regain mobility. See if you can incorporate this position throughout your day- send a few emails, answer a phone call, chop some veggies, weed your garden, play with a kid or pet… all possible from a squat!
by Melissa Miller, RMT
Movement is vital to life and is a cornerstone to a happy and healthy pregnancy. Movement prevents joint stiffness, improves circulation and increases energy levels. Staying active also releases positive endorphins which helps with discomfort, especially towards the end of the third trimester. A focused exercise and stretching routine will help build an awareness and confidence in your body and its ability to adapt to the physical and emotional changes during this exciting time.
Aches and pains are normal as your baby grows and can vary from trimester to trimester. Taking even 15 minutes out of your day for some basic movements can make all the difference throughout pregnancy and into your labour experience. Here is a basic movement sequence that I have offered to plenty of pregnant clients that is safe for all trimesters and can be modified to your fitness level. Continue reading
This quick Yoga Tips video with Leena discusses why you probably need more calf stretching in your life, and how to do a basic stretch. Add this stretch to your everyday routine to help counteract the effects of sitting, positive heeled shoes and walking on hard flat surfaces. And go find some fun trails to walk on too!
Get your calf stretches in without taking precious time out of your day by doing them while you’re working at a standing desk, brushing your teeth or doing dishes. You can use a rolled yoga mat, a halfdome, or even a Yoga Tune-Up ball. Or, if you’re outside on a walk (Woo! Good for you!) use a stone, a curb, a tree stump or fallen branch. Walking uphill is also a great way to stretch your calves and load your feet, ankles and legs in a new way! Continue reading
Last Sunday I was delighted to try Yoga Tune-Up for the first time at Queen Street Yoga. Guest teacher Tara Kachroo took us through massage techniques from our feet all the way up to our necks, and I left feeling as wiggly as a noodle. I was happy to find that some foot pain I have been experiencing recently had lessened the next day! I am really looking forward to participating in Tara’s upcoming 6-week course at QSY (see below for more info) and learning more ways to incorporate “rolling” (with grippy Yoga Tune-Up balls) into my yoga/movement/strengthening practice.
Here is a short video created by Yoga Tune-Up founder Jill Miller. There are all sorts of great videos on her channel for using the Tune-Up balls for all different areas of the body. I’ve chosen one that outlines a few exercises for the feet. Especially in this snowy weather, when we are wearing heavier boots, it’s important to make sure our feet get enough movement.
This post was written by longtime QSY teacher Kris Lekin. In this post, Kris offers some insight into re-gaining core strength and support after pregnancy.
Just before I got pregnant in 2013, I was more physically fit than I had ever been. I was deepening my yoga practice, running and cycling daily, and even going to the gym (ok, that was only occasionally – I’ve never loved the gym). Then came the pregnancy (dun, dun, duuun)…with twins! My belly grew large and fast, and so did the rest of me. I accepted it as all being part of the process, but I was troubled by the size I would inevitably be and what that would do to my core muscles. I was aware of the condition diastasis recti (separation of the rectus abdominus muscle into left and right halves) and knew that this was inevitable with a twin pregnancy that went to term. It is a condition that occurs from 30-40% of all pregnancies. While pregnant, I studied with Jill Miller (of the Yoga Tune Up method) to help keep my inner baby carriage (a.k.a. the deep core) strong to support pregnancy and birth. However, the more my belly swelled, the less optimistic I was that I would ever be able to plank again, let alone do a handstand.
I carried my babies for 40 full weeks, and they grew and grew. I couldn’t have been more proud that I had “made it” that long, despite the fact my body had completely changed. A couple of months after delivery, I eased back into my yoga practice and tried to run once again. My body felt foreign. It also felt like my insides were falling out and that my middle wasn’t being supportive in my movements. Continue reading
It’s Throwback Thursday here at Queen Street Yoga, and today we are throwing back to August of 2014 when Leena wrote about falling in love with the Tensegrity Repair Series. Later this month we are looking forward to a day-long workshop all about the Tensegrity Repair Series with Vancouver-based teacher Trudy Austin. If you’ve ever been curious to learn more about the flowing movements that Emma and Leena sometimes incorporate into their classes, consider joining us for Trudy’s workshop on October 24.
Grease for your Rusty Parts
Ever get up from your desk, and feel your joints creak like a rusty old car? Perhaps due to the amount of time we spend sitting in chairs, seats, and couches in North America, the average person I see has core weakness. This instability in the core is often coupled with tightness and lack of mobility in the hip joints and shoulder joints (and by core, I’m not solely referring to the abdominal muscles, but also muscles of the pelvis, deep core and back muscles.)
The Tensegrity Repair Series is a set of 20 simple exercises designed to restore healthy range of motion to the hips, shoulders, and spine. It helps to build supple strength in the core muscles, and balance and stabilize the pelvis. Overall, I’ve found it to be an amazing antidote to the most common structural and postural imbalance issues that I have personally, and that I see in the general population. It brings that little bit of grease back to our creaky parts. Continue reading
This post and sequence was created by Leena as a follow up to last week’s post on #Selfcare, Restorative Yoga & Community Acupuncture.
The first few weeks of September are this funny in-between time. We’re on the threshold of transitions: the end of vacations, the weather turning (eventually) from summer to fall, back to school, back to routine, etc. Here at the studio we are gearing up for a packed fall schedule of special offerings, including lots of great pre-registered courses and a nearly sold-out Yoga Teacher Training program.
Here’s a quick little practice to help you cool off and calm down in this early September heat wave. It’s a great sequence for helping to soothe an over-reactive nervous system and find more ease in the lower back and hips. It would be nice as a before-bed sequence to help you get a good night of sleep. You can even do the last pose, legs up the wall, against your headboard. Enjoy! Continue reading