Category Archives: Yoga Remedies


Meditation 101

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One of the most common questions I get from students is “How do you meditate?”  There is a lot of misconception about what meditation is. Often, people think meditation has something to do with being enlightened or going off to a magical place in your mind…

Plain and simple. Meditation is about being present. Here. Now. It’s the practice of sitting still and being in the present moment. It’s challenging because your monkey mind wants to race about, worrying about what happened yesterday and what we have to do later. The more you can practice quieting your mind, the happier and healthier your mind and body will be.

I know that can sound daunting so here are a few simple meditation techniques you can try.

For all of these, start out slow, put a 2-minute or 5-minute timer on your phone and work your way up to 10 to 15 minutes after weeks or months of practice. It’s best to practice first thing in the morning, but anytime is better than none.

Method 1: Following your breath

There is nothing more present than your breath. You can’t breath in the past or future, only now J

Step  1. Sit in a comfortable seated position with your back straight, chest open, hands rested on either knee.
Step  2. Begin to take deep inhales in and out through your nose.
Step  3. Watch your breath rise and fall.

Method 2: Feeling Breath and Heartbeat

Step  1. Sit in a comfortable seated position with your back straight, chest open, left hand over your heart center and right hand over your belly.
Step  2. Begin to take deep inhales in and out through your nose.
Step  3. Feel your breath rise and fall.
Step  4. Feel for your heartbeat.

Method 3: Candle Light Gaze
Best method if you are more visual.

Step 1. Place a candle 3 feet in front of you, at eye level.
Step 2. Concentrate your gaze on the flame, capture the image, then close your eyes.
Step 3. Clearly see the candle image in your mind with eyes closed.
Step 4. When the image fades from your mind, open your eyes again and repeat.

Remember the secret to meditation, is the secret to perfecting any skill. Practice. Practice. Practice.
If your mind runs amok during your first few trys, it’s ok. It will get easier. You will train the monkey mind in time.
GGY :)

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Simple Yoga Tips for Back Care

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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.


GGY ;)

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Prenatal Yoga Dos and Don’ts

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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


GGY :)

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Nose Breathing for Stress

Know Your Nose

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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.


GGY :)

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Yogi Sleep Aides

Yogi Sleep Aides

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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.


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