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yoga fitness poses
Fitness
Published Tuesday Apr 02, 2019 by Jacki Carr

5 Yoga Poses That Power My Practice

Fitness
Yoga
Personal Growth

In my twenties living in LA, I had the best selection of yoga classes to choose from. Then I found Mary Beth LaRue’s class: a mix of softness, creative flow, and sweat combined with amazing music and her majorly meditative voice. Everything changed. 

 

fitness yoga poses
Photo Credit: Taylor Carlisle

 

I remember when I would attend her classes in Venice Beach. I would try to keep my zen as beads of sweat started rolling out of every single pore on my body. I could feel the frown on my face saying, how long are you going to have us hold this boat pose? She would then call me out and remind the class to release the furrowed brow and breathe, breathe again because everything is a choice. 

At around forty minutes into class, I finally found that I could breathe deeper, feel deeper and my sweat started to become a nod to the work I was doing—both physically and mentally. When you soften into your body, listen to your breath and feel the bliss in puppy dog pose (my favorite), that’s the mental sweat of yoga

I connected with my now best friend Mary Beth, renown yoga teacher, Yoga Journal cover model, and my Rock Your Bliss business partner, to explore the five yoga poses that help me get my sweat on and elevate my practice, in both the physical and mental space. Grab a mat, get ready to flow and enjoy!

 


Warrior III

Hold on both sides for one minute each. If you can, extend your arms forward while flexing your lifted foot. Engage your core and breathe deeply. See if you can stay in this pose and in a compassionate headspace, even when challenged. 

 

Forearm Plank

Hold for one minute and see if you can work up to two. If you’d like to engage your transverse abdominus more, tilt your hips an inch to the right then to the left, continuing for thirty seconds. Remember deep, deep breaths. 

 

Boat Pose

Balance in your sit bones as you hold here. You can keep knees bent and lift your chest high. Option to work toward straight legs. Hold for one minute. 

 

Dolphin Pose

Come into Downward-facing dog on your forearms. Spin your biceps forward and triceps back. If it feels okay in your neck, look forward toward your fingertips. Hold for one minute, then take child’s pose. Repeat once more. 

 

Puppy Dog Pose

As you come into downward-facing dog, bend your elbows with your forearms above the floor. Take five deep breaths. Rest and repeat twice more. 

 

No matter where your skill level is at, the poses you practice can only better your well-being. Here’s to finding your flow (and a little sweat). Namaste! 

Jacki Carr
Written by
Jacki Carr
Rock Your Bliss Co-Founder | Writer
About the author
Jacki Carr is a goal coach, writer, and yoga teacher with a real, honest style that helps connect people to their most powerful self. Co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, you can find Jacki in Evergreen, Colorado drinking another bulletproof coffee on her front porch with her husband, two daughters, and their pups.
woman with short hair staring into camera
Wellness
Published Thursday Apr 01, 2021 by Denise Prichard

Your Guide to Releasing Stress and Finding Peace

Expert Advice
Wellness
Self-care

Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.

With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."

There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.

Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:

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1. Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice  

When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey. 

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2. I Tried Virtual Meditation...Here’s What I Learned 

Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?) 

TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra. 

dani schenone yogi
 
3. Accessible Yoga Poses for Emotional Balance and Release 

Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.  

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4. Top Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Depression and The New Normal

Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.

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5. The "Staying Grounded" Guide to Stress and Anxiety Pre- and Post-COVID-19

If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.

woman meditating
 
6. How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

woman in down dog
 
7. Cultivate Your Calm with These 7 Yoga Poses

There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.

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8. Mindfulness Tips to Stay Intentional, Focused, and Aligned in 2021

We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.

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9. Why It's Time to Try a Healing Virtual Sound Bath

If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.

These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.  

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.