Stretch

The time of the year when we get super active and we want to burn everything from the past months has come! .

Most of us are planning in advance to feel better for summer, I wont call it a summer body because we have the same body the whole year long, but we do start to exercise around this time of the year more often than usual, and that usually makes us feel good about ourselves.

Saying this so, we also tend to get injured more than usual. We expect to run 10 miles out of nowhere and feel the bliss and fire afterward with no side effect, you know, like those Nike commercials, the truth is,t without proper after workout stretches, our muscles and ligaments are going to feel the damage, we might not feel it the first couple of times, but theres going to be a moment when your body wont resist it anymore and you will end up injured.

That’s why I came up with this sequence to stretch and release the tension after any workout. It also applies for those who feel the soreness from a long day at work and need a good stretch before bed. Feel free to use this sequence whenever you feel the need to stretch and release.

 

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  1. Forward fold variation / Uttanasana : with your hands interlacing behind your back, bend the knees and bring the tailbone back and up. Rest the torso over the thighs and slowly start to straighten your legs keeping the back straight. Your head is hanging and your hands are trying to reach forward. Hold for 5 breathes.

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  1. Twisted forward fold: From uttanasana, bend one knee and straighten the other one, twist the torso towards the straight leg and bring the arm from the same side up. Arms are in T, the twist comes from the waist, and the chest and face are facing up, hold and change to the other side.

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  1. High lunge with hands on the floor: Bring one feet in between your hands, your arms are strong like in the top of a push up, the other leg is straight back, the heel is pulling back and the muscles are engaged. The spine is long, belly in, looking forward. The front knee is bent at a 90 degrees and the knee is aligned with the foot. Hold for 5 and change to the other side.

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  1. Low lunge / Anjaneyasana : From high lunge, drop the back knee to the floor, keeping the muscles contracted, lift the torso and interlace the fingers on top of the knee, shoulders away from the ears, chest is up, belly in. Let the hips hang a little bit without loosing control of it. Hold for 5, change to the other side

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  1. Half Split / Ardha Hanumanasana: From low lunge, bring the hips back to the heel, straighten the opposite leg and leave the hands at the side of the front leg, you will feel a deep stretch on your straight hamstring, use blocks or books to take more space if necessary. Hold for 5, change to the other side.

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  1. Big toe Pose / Padangusthasana: With feet hip width distance grab the two big toes with the first two fingers, bend the knees if necessary to keep a straight spine. Start to pull your head towards your feet , bend the elbows to the side and keep the shoulders away from the ears. Hold for 5

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  1. Upside Down Pigeon: Lying on your back, bend one knee and leave the foot grounded, then place the opposite ankle on top of the knee, making a shape 4 with the legs, push the knee away from the torso to feel a deep hip stretch, you can grab the thigh behind and lift the leg, in order to create more tension and a deeper stretch in both legs.

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  1. Twist with eagle legs: with the back laying on the floor, cross one leg over the other one, then bring the knee to the opposite side of the floor while the chest and face turn to the opposite side, this is a deep stretch, be careful if you have any back injury. Hold for 5 and change side.

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  1. Seated Forward bend / Paschimottanasana : Seated with the legs straight in front of you bring the chest forward, grabbing the side of the feet or any part of the legs to find a deeper fold. You can bend the knees in order to keep the back straight. Once you find a good stretch you can rest the head on your legs, only if theres no hunch on the back!.

The ideal is to hold each pose for 5 breathes, feel how each inhale will give you space to lengthen , and each exhale will allow you to go deeper.

I hope you find this helpful, I learned the hard way to stretch after practice and now it has become the most important part of it, enjoy!

The Store is Open!

It all began a couple years ago, when I was living in Bogota and I didn’t have many things to do (some people call it unemployment but I’m not quite fond of that word) I decided to start a small collection of hand painted wallets and bags. It was a completely success not only because I sold them all, but because I found something that helps me to get lost in moments when I don’t want to be around, lets say that its my way out of stress and madness. Every time I start to paint, a part of me stays in that painting, my thoughts, feelings and emotions are reflected on each one, and every single one represents different parts of me.

In this new collection, I decided to put together things that are moving me very much right now. One of them is Mantras, all those different words, sounds, chants and quotes that define a moment, or we use it to meditate, or simply help us to heal, and keep on going. The other thing is the nostalgia of home, and all those details that make me feel in a save place, mostly those places are hidden in nature,that is why there are so many plants hanging around here.

If you want something special, please write me. I’ll be more than happy to work something out for you.

Everything is on my Etsy Store, go and take a look, the are one of a kind and I will be updating the page constantly, hopefully I will fill it with beautiful things for you to use.

Grow Old, Not Up

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While I was swimming through the internet, looking for something, reading about anything and doing nothing. I found this drawing of two girls looking to opposite sites, both with the top of their heads cut open, one had “The chaos” on top, and stormy waves inside her head, the other one “The Calm” and a lighthouse inside. Well, this illustration just described perfectly how I’ve been feeling in the past couple of weeks. I needed to see more.

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I went to her Tumblr, and I found this amazing graphic journal of feelings and thoughts,  each one describing perfectly things that sometimes are very hard to explain. Her name is Elliana Esquivel, she’s a 20 year old artist from San Jose with an amazing talent for traditional clean line illustration. Combining the body, with other objects, she illustrates the most complex moments in beautiful pieces of art.

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Find her on Instagram and Tumblr for more.

Making it easy

When I first heard about meditation the only thing that came into my mind was the idea of being at the top of a mountain wearing a beautiful white organic cotton robe while I was sitting in a perfect lotus with my mind completely in blank, almost levitating. Of course, any of the things I just mentioned ever happened, maybe the white organic cotton robe did happen (as a T-shirt) but the idea of clearing my mind and be in complete quietness is still on the works, and I meditate almost every single day, at least for 5 minutes for the past year.

If you are just starting with your meditation practice, or you haven’t  started but want to give it a chance, hear me out. Its going to be weird, its not easy, and you wont see the difference right away, but once you start to see how your world start to change just because you dedicate some minutes of your day to yourself, you will understand why is so necessary to keep meditation in our daily routine.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned about making meditation approachable for those (like me) who have some trouble to keep their mind under control.

img_0519Find guidance : if it’s your first time, I highly recommend that you do it under the guide of someone, they’ll find the right words for your practice, and you’ll feel that you actually did something more than just be sitting waiting there waiting to be over. I recommend YouTube for those with no time (or money) . There are also great apps that you can keep on your phone and have them at hand when you most need them. Also go to your nearest yoga studios, they might have the most amazing meditation sessions and being in a place like a studio will make the experience very different.

img_0068Keep it simple : Don’t get too fancy buying a meditation cushion, a 12 pound Buddha, hundreds of essential oils and expensive Malas. Meditation is just the practice of being aware of your breathing and a practice of letting things go. So you will basically need a confortable position, maybe a cushion and maybe some background music, just if you are not comfortable with complete silence , which I love.

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Be present : once you sit down and start your practice, try to keep your attention on that exact moment, your mind will wander and you will lose it, the important thing is to get back, be aware of your thoughts, observe them and let them be. Meditation not always have to be seated in complete silence with your eyes closed. Being mindful of any situation is the prefect example of active meditation.

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Expect nothing: people will always expect a certain bliss or feeling after practice (no, we won’t levitate, I promise). There will be some feelings, and an after taste, we are all unique, so don’t compare your progress with anyone else ( that works for life too btw) this is a personal practice where only you will understand with time how everything starts to change.

img_0521Breathe: Basically this is all that matters. There are many different types of meditation practices, the most common one is when you concentrate your attention in your breathing. For me , it has been the one who has sticked on, but anyways in any session remember to breathe, deep and conscious. That’s what we came for so let’s make the most out of it.

Of course they might me many other things I still don’t know about meditation, Im still on my own journey. Every day when I sit and close my eyes, I feel is my first time, sometimes I breathe deeper than others, some other times my mind can’t stop wandering, but I’m still there, in my easy pose, with a tall spine, in the middle of my living room, growing one breathe at a time.

Monday Mantra 02.27.

 

” ONG NAMO GURÚ DEV NAMO”

I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher within.

We can use this mantra to “tune in” to the divine flowing within each of us. It bring us to a meditative state which allow the universe to open up to us.

Repeat this mantra 3 times before your practice (or any task that you are about to start) and let your mind work at its own pace.

Have a wonderful week.

namste

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Vinyasa Flow

Esta secuencia de Vinyasa esta diseñada para todos los que están buscando acelerar su ritmo cardiaco con un poco de yoga. Es un flow para todos los niveles, con ciertas poses que con un poco mas de dificultad, pero solo por el hecho de que hasta ahora estas comenzando tus practicas, no significa que no puedas intentarlo.
Las ventajas de practicar en casa es que siempre puedes poner pausa, tomar un respiro y comenzar de nuevo :).
Al final vas a sentir un poco mas de confianza (para eso están los guerreros) tu abdomen y tus piernas van a sentir el esfuerzo y tu vas a sentir esa sensación de poder  que nos dejan nuestras clases de yoga.

Namaste

 

Calm. Sleep. By Moby

Even if my feed is filled with political, depressing news that makes me feel impotent and angry, I also get to find things like this. Moby has decided to share with us 4 hours of music that he uses for yoga and meditation.

The world might not drastically change after this, but at least we have a nice and soothing soundtrack to get some air and find some peace. Just click here 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks Moby!

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Monday Mantra 02·20·17

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I am love.. soy amor…

After a week full of heart shaped thoughts I felt that it was very appropriated to keep this friendly reminder. Of course Valentines is over, and chocolate boxes are 50% off. Some of you might still be feeling the sparkles of the love that this day irradiates, some others might be having a harder time because the expectations weren’t filled. Well, with time I’ve learned that love is an inside job, and if love is not being performed correctly on the inside, most likely the outside will be having its problems.

So for this week Im going to leave this mantra on the table. Repeat to yourself “I am love” “Yo soy amor” , “Je suis l’amour”, and forget for a second the rest of it, imagine the world is inside you, it doesn’t matter how much affection you are receiving from outside, if you feel a warm heartbeat inside you, and the thrills of your breathing is enough for a smile, you are set for the day.

Im sure a lovely week is coming up.

Namaste

Monday Mantra 2•13•17

 

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Lets be real, we need a plan in life, it’s not like we can float around the universe without any goals, and just be (some times sounds like a great idea but trust me that’s not what your are here for). We all come with a purpose and we just need to work for it, giving everything we have, expecting nothing in return.This week try to liberate yourself from any expectation and be content with what the world has to offer you.

But also remember to give it all, otherwise karma will come back at you and you will regret it.

May your week be nothing like you expected ✌🏼