Cool It!: A short practice to calm the nervous system & release the lower back and hips

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

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A Summer Sequence for Strong Shoulders- *FREE* Printable Download

killarneyFor me, a summer in Ontario isn’t complete without at least four or five days of back-country canoe camping in Killarney Provincial Park. Killarney is about five hours north of Kitchener-Waterloo on the north side of the Georgian Bay. It boasts some of the most beautiful lakes, scenic mountains and dramatic rock faces that I’ve had the pleasure of canoeing and hiking along. killarney canoes

If you’ve never been canoeing, let me teach you a new vocabulary word: Portage (noun or verb). I’m glad Canadians are at least bilingual enough that you can pronounce it the more elegant way en francais up here. Honestly, Americans butcher this word. Pronunciation aside, when you hear portage think carrying a huge pack on your back and a canoe on your shoulders for anywhere between a few dozen meters to a kilometer or more! Given that I’m only 5’3” and the canoe is 17’ and about 50lbs, a little extra prep for my shoulders and upper body before heading on a trip is super helpful. Continue reading

September Sequence for Hips & Shoulders

I am relishing every last bit of these warmer August days, but it’s undeniable that September is on its way. In the yogic and Ayurvedic understanding of the seasons, autumn is the season of wind and movement.  It brings cool and blustery days, crisp nights, the bustle of back-to-school, and the intensity and pace of work often increase. To help yourself stay grounded and even-keeled for whatever the fall brings, commit to more regular yoga practice, make time for coziness and cuddles with loved ones, and nourish yourself with warming stews and root veggies. Here is a sequence that helps to cultivate over-all strength and release tension shoulders and hips. I hope you’ll find it both energizing and grounding as we savour the end of summer and transition to September.

Continue reading