yoga blog

3 things you need to know about yoga!

The following is an excerpt from an article I guest wrote for a friend and colleague's blog on   Castanet.net

Today I feature one of the many inspirational fitness leaders with whom has played a huge role in many people's journey of finding fitness, health and balance, including mine!  Meet Laura Martini of Martini Yoga. I have asked Laura what she feels everyone should know and understand about yoga!
 

  • Saying that I'm too tight/stiff to go to yoga is like saying that you are too hungry to eat.

As a yoga teacher, I understand that you are embarrassed by your tight hamstrings and don't think you'll be "good" at yoga; I've heard it all.  But it is the people like you who need yoga the most.  If you feel as though your muscles are tight, chances are they will continue to get tighter unless you take the time to stretch them.  It is as simple as that! A consistent yoga practice will not only stretch your muscles, it will help you build strength, it will increase your coordination and balance, and it will help to calm your mind.  

  • Yoga is the practice of compassion. Please understand that yoga was not designed to be a "workout", it is a system of self-love.

In a world where we are constantly being told that we are never enough, yoga teaches us to be gentle with our bodies and minds.  Through yoga we learn to recognize that we already have everything we need.  The physical practice of yoga gives us the opportunity to go deeper into our bodies and really take the time to understand where we should be placing our attention.  The ancient system of yoga recognized that when we take the time to love ourselves, only then will our love be able to translate to others.

  • Yoga is accepting of all.

It doesn't matter if you are Christian or Buddhist, small or large, bendy like Gumby or stiff as a board, yoga can work for you.  Yoga teachers are surprisingly skilled at modifying classes to ensure they work for everyone in the room.  That being said, please ensure you read the class description before entering the class.  You will never be judged in a yoga class so know that so long as you are mindful in how you feel in each posture, you can get a lot out of any yoga practice, no matter the teacher or style.
 

Namaste,

l.e. martini

 

The best yoga poses for hiking.

Now that the weather has turned crisp and the leaves are crunching beneath our feet, hikers across the northern hemisphere are lacing up their shoes and heading outside.  If you are one of the many who enjoy the benefits of a brisk fall hike amidst the golden foliage, here are some yoga postures for you to enhance your hiking experience! 

Low Lunge with hands bound.

Low Lunge with hands bound.

Tree Pose

Tree Pose

Double Pigeon

Double Pigeon

  1. Double Pigeon.

     Sit on your bum and stack your lower legs like fire logs.  Lean forward as far as is comfortable for you, keeping the sitz bones on the ground.  If this is not accessible for you, do regular pigeon instead.  This posture directly targets the side and back compartments of the hip and also releases tightness from the glutes.  A great posture to do after hiking.

  2. Low Lunge. 

     The repetitive motion of lifting and lowering your legs will inevitably tighten the hip flexors.  Low lunges can help to stretch this part of your body out and release tension from the front of the hip.

  3. Any forward fold.

     Ensure you feel the stretch in the middle of the back of the thigh.

  4. Tree Pose.

     Use your body to show a little nature appreciation:)  And (bonus!) cultivate a greater sense of balance while you're at it. 

  5. Seated Meditation.

       I recommend taking a few minutes to pause, sit, and breathe deeply during your hike.  Focus on the beauty and spirituality inherent in nature.  Allow your heart rate to slow, and soften everywhere you can to allow for a deep sense of peace and relaxation.

     

    Happy Hiking and many Namastes to you! 

    Rock On, 

    l.e. martini

Why wine and yoga are basically the same thing.

Why wine and yoga are basically the same thing.

3.  Whether you just made eye contact with the hottie on the green mat in the corner, or the single next to you at the bar complimented your Pinot Grigio choice, your odds of going home alone tonight have decreased significantly.  Yep, both wine and yoga turn singles turn couples.