All posts by brendablanco

back-ache

Simple Yoga Tips for Back Care

By | Blog, Yoga Remedies | No Comments

Yoga is a great tool for relieving and preventing backache. Here are a few yogic tips to help you get that pain out of your back.

Best yoga pose for backache –
Legs up against the wall

Step 1. Sit next to a wall with the side of your body on the wall and your knees bent into the chest.
Step 2. Bring the lower back onto the floor while bringing the legs up the wall. Keep the upper body supported with the elbows on the floor.
Step 3. Slowly release the elbows and lower the whole back down to the floor.
Step 4. If you are comfortable, stay here several minutes.
Step 5. To come out, bring the knees into your chest and roll to your side.

This pose also treats insomnia, eases tired or swollen legs and calms the mind.

Best prop for backache – The Bolster

Bolsters are long, cylinder or rectangular shaped pillows often available at yoga studios for use and available online and in a few local stores for purchase.

Step 1. Sit with your tailbone up again the edge of the bolster. Your buttocks is on the ground.
Step 2. Lie back and relax.

Best off the mat tips

1. Adjust your office chair to make sure your hips are higher than your knees, avoiding lower back strain.

2. If all else fails, take an Epsom Salt bath…relieving all your strained muscles and giving yourself some well-deserved “you’ time.

Namaste,

Brenda
GGY ;)

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

prenatal-yoga

Prenatal Yoga Dos and Don’ts

By | Blog, Yoga Remedies | No Comments

Prenatal yoga can help make your pregnancy much more comfortable. Of course, check with your doctor first to make sure this practice is suitable for your particular condition.

If approved, prenatal yoga can keep you fit during pregnancy,  correct or maintain proper posture while carrying baby, reduce back discomfort, strengthen birthing muscles, prevent leg cramps and more…

Because prenatal group yoga classes are harder to find, here are a few yoga dos and don’ts for you if you decide to take a regular group class.

#1 Do get your doctor’s permission.

#2 Do choose a more gentle, slower paced class.

#3 Don’t do any breathing exercises that require breath retention. Simply take a meditation and regular deep breathing during this time.

#4 Don’t OVERSTRETCH. The hormone relaxin, released in pregnancy to loosen your ligaments in preparation for labour, makes your body vulnerable to injury from over-stretching.

#5 Don’t lie on your belly or do any core work.

#6 Don’t twist, jump, take deep backbends, or inversions.

#7 Do practice hip openers, side stretches and standing poses.

#8 Do take your savasana resting pose on your left side with a bolster.

If interested in a private prenatal yoga session to develop a routine for yourself, contact Brenda at Brenda.blanco1@gmail.com

Namaste,

Brenda
GGY :)

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

Why we Om

Why We Om ॐ

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

Unless you have studied the history of yoga or are a yoga teacher yourself, you probably don’t know why you chant “om” at the start of class.

The history of yoga tells us that “om” is the vibrational sound of the universe, but in modern day, most people can’t relate to that.

Here’s my take on it. Modern yoga uses the opening “om” as a way to unite the group and relax your mind before your yoga practice, which is a moving meditation. It’s a way to officially put away everything that was worrying you before class so you can focus on your breath and your body for the next hour or so. It also helps you to feel part of the group, the collective energy in the room, so you can feel supported throughout your practice. At the end of the practice, you close with the “om”, to return to your daily routine with a calm, strong and focused mind, body and spirit.

Om on my friends,

Brenda
GGY :)

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

Nose Breathing for Stress

Know Your Nose

By | Blog, Yoga Remedies | No Comments

Ever wonder why yoga teachers ask you to only breathe through your nose during class? This is one of the most common questions I get asked. It is also one of the biggest challenges for new students.

When you use your nose to breathe, you purify the air upon entry into the body – filtering pollutants such as dust, pollen and bacteria. When the breath exits the nose, we tend to exhale a bit slower than it exits the mouth. This is important because a slower breath relaxes the nervous system, which in turn leads to reduced stress.

As we get older, shallow breathing can lead to many lung complications, including lung disease. Practicing more nose breathing now can help you avoid lung complications in the future.

Here’s a quick and simple exercise to get you started:

While seated comfortably at home or work:
Step 1: Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
Step 2: Shift to nose-only breathing (Inhaling in and out for counts of 4)
Step 3: Begin to increase your count to 6 or 8 as you get more comfortable

Try this breathing exercise for a minute and then in time work your way up to 5 minutes and notice how it calms your mind and body.

Namaste,

Brenda
GGY :)

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

Stares in the Mirror Yogi

Stares in the Mirror Yogi

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

I would like to give a special namaste out to “stares in the mirror yogi”. Yes, practicing yoga will make your body look great, but that is not what class is about.

The true practice of yoga is teaching us to be present in our body, instead of off in our monkey mind of endless thoughts, like “do I look good in this pose?” or “how close is my foot to my head?”

Next time you come to class, think of the mirror as your monkey mind in physical form. Whenever you catch yourself glancing at it, come back to your practice, to your breath and moving meditation. This will not only help you in class, but also help you be more present when you are with friends, family and coworkers.

<3 <3 <3
GGY

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

Slow Down...Dog

Slow Down…Dog

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

What is everyone’s rush to get into the most advanced version of each yoga pose? I’m seeing this more and more in my classes… Even first time yoga students are taking an all level class and pushing themselves into binds and other progression poses.  They look around and think they have to compete with others taking the class, not realizing these other students have been practicing for much longer, are much younger or are athletes. They risk injury to prove to themselves that they are just as good, but yoga is not a competitive activity. Like any other situation in life, it is best for your physical, mental and emotional health that you take it slow…I understand that you want to be the best and push yourself, but give yourself this space and time to learn proper form and build the mental strength needed to truly excel in your practice and in life.

Savor your growth in each pose as you would savor each bite of your favorite chocolate dessert or each sip of your favorite glass of wine. As one of my favorite teachers, Jason Nemer, said, “if you move too fast, you will only get to the end more quickly.” What’s the fun in that?

Namaste,
GGY ;)

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

Yogi Sleep Aides

Yogi Sleep Aides

By | Blog, Yoga Remedies | 7 Comments

Having trouble getting to sleep or having restless nights?
This is one of the most common issues I hear from clients and friends.

Try one or all of these tips to get a better night sleep today.

Yoga: Try 3 sets of cobra pose before bed.

Take cobra pose by lying on your belly, legs straight, heels and toes touching, forehead down on the mat and hands on either side of your chest with elbows bent and off the mat. Hug your elbows to your sides. On an inhale, press your hands firmly into the floor and begin to lift your chest into a mild backbend. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, press your chest forward and look up. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then release and repeat.

Thai Massage: Try shampoo, the Sanskrit word for scalp massage. Ever wonder why you get to sleepy when your hairdresser shampoos your hair? This is an ancient remedy for relieving headaches and improving sleeping patterns. You can give yourself a scalp massage or enlist the help of a generous friend or partner ;)

Healing: Get an amethyst stone from your local gem shop or yoga-related store (I like Zen Shop at the Riverside mall). They cost about $3. Wash the stone in water and then let it dry in the sunlight to charge it up. Then place the stone under your pillow. This will help you sleep and help prevent nightmares.

Aromatherapy: The scent of lavender helps induce sleep. You can diffuse lavender oil in your room or take a warm bath with lavender.

Warrior Wisdom: Don’t take your worries to bed with you. Live life well and make decisions that won’t cause you sleepless nights. If you follow your heart during the day, you will sleep with ease and peace.

Namaste,
GGY

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

96617056

Do Meditate and Drive

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

Ever take a routine drive, arrive and then realize you don’t remember how you got there? You were on autopilot, off in your thoughts the entire drive. This is dangerous for you and other drivers.

Meditation is a great tool for helping you drive more safely. Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about escaping, it’s about being present. While driving, you can focus on your senses for meditation help. You can first focus on your breath, taking deep breaths in and out through your nose. Start with 6 seconds in and out and then increase to 8, 10 and 12. A second technique is to really become aware of your surroundings, see the road, the cars, the sky, the trees around you. So many times, we are on autopilot and miss the beauty around us on a simple drive. Third is noticing your body, really feeling the steering wheel in your grip, your feet placement, your body position (great time to practice sitting with a straight spine;)

Try these techniques and see which one works best for you. You will notice that you will become a more calm, present and safe driver.

Namaste,
GGY

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

 

109722843

Energy Vampires Suck

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

We share our energy throughout the day with coworkers, friends, and family members, but we need to become aware of our energy around them.

Ever hang out with someone and feel completely drained of energy? Sounds like an energy sucker to me. Some people will share your energy frequency and level and keep you light with their balance, contentment or positive energy, while others will feed on that from you.

Some great examples of this are the coworker that constantly complains about their job, friend that is unhappy with her boyfriend or unhealthy family member that wants to lose weight. They ask for your honest advice every day and you give it. They agree with you and then do nothing. Every day, same story. This will suck your energy. Keep your time with these energy vamps short or just stick to other topics. You don’t want to end up going vamp, too ;)

Namaste,
GGY

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com. 

Big Risk for Big Rewards

By | Blog, La Yoga Vida | No Comments

Many of us have or will fall upon a time when we feel lost or at a crossroads. I invite you to look upon this time as an opportunity instead of a curse.

This is the time to take a risk for happiness, whatever that means for you. It could be a major change in career, relationship, or geography or a small fun change like taking time to learn an instrument, take an improv class or learn a new language, whatever will make your heart sing.

For me, the big risk was leaving my secure six-figure job to become a full time yoga teacher and healer. After years of being unhappy, I made the leap. The lifestyle is physically and financially challenging, but it is also amazingly fulfilling. I’d always dreamed of a life of helping and inspiring others and now that is my every day. What is your heart’s desire?

Your happiness is the biggest reward possible. Isn’t it worth the risk? It’s time to stop distracting yourself with television, alcohol, food and other mindnumbing practices and ask yourself “what does happiness mean to me?” The last thing we want to do is look back on our lives with regret. Isn’t it better to look back and say we pursued happiness with action, not just words? Sometimes, we will succeed and sometimes we will fail, but we will always have peace in our efforts.

Namaste Yogis ;)

GGY

Email me your blog suggestions or wellness questions you’d like answered to brenda.blanco1@gmail.com.