3 Night-time Yoga Poses To Do In Bed

Some nights I go to bed feeling thoroughly exhausted and spent; however, my mind is still running at a mile a minute. Other times I might be mentally exhausted but my body feels tight and uncomfortable and in need of a stretch before bed. 

These following three poses work on helping you slow down your breath while feeling supported and stretched out. The best part is these poses can be done in bed. I always feel so much better if I end my day with a couple of yoga poses, and the days I’m particularly tired!!!being able to practice in bed is the motivation I need.

Try these out and end your day feeling relaxed and calm.


Supported Reclined Butterfly Pose

Lie down on your back. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall apart. Place a pillow under each knee. Put one palm on your chest and one on your belly. Take deep and even breaths, breathing in for 5 counts and exhaling for 5 counts. This pose is great to release tension in your back while providing support to your knees.

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Supported Child’s Pose

Come into child’s pose with your knees apart and toes together. Place a pillow between your knees and drape your body over the pillow. Turn your gaze to one side.  This pose aids in digestion as well as cramps. Focus on staying calm and relaxed. With each exhalation let your muscles sink into the bed and feel supported.

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Supported Bharadvaja Twist Pose

Lay on your stomach, legs out straight. Bend one knee bringing it up to approximately chest height. Place a pillow under your bent leg. Turn your gaze to one side. With each exhalation feel the tension leaving your body. Remember to repeat this pose on the other side.

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3 Asanas that Stretch Your Abs

Ever done a crazy ab workout that left your abdomen and sides sore and tight? First, congrats on working your abs! Feeling sore is always a reminder of what you’ve accomplished but it can also be painful sometimes. Below are 3 asanas that are great for stretching our abdominals. People usually stretch after going for a run or an endurance workout. So why not do it after an ab workout too?

As always, listen to your body, be kind to it, and only do what feels good!

Bhujangasana

Start by lying on your stomach. Place your palms flat on the ground, at about chest level. As you inhale, raise your forehead up. Keep your forearms pressed into the ground. Open up your chest and roll your shoulders back and away from your ears. Bring your attention to you abdominals and with each exhalation feel the stretch there.

Bridge

Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet on the ground. Your hands should be stretched out towards your heels, fingers should be able to graze your heels. Inhale and raise your hips up, off the ground. Hold for as long as it feels comfortable. Exhale as you lower your hips to the ground.

Wild things

Start in downward dog. Inhale and raise your right leg up into a three-legged dog. Turn your gaze to the floor underneath your left arm. As you exhale bend your right knee and place your toes on the left side where your gaze was. Raise your right arm up behind you. To exit, bring your right hand back to the ground and raise your right foot coming backing to a three legged dog.

Repeat this on the left side.

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4 Pros and Cons of Practicing at home VS. Going to a Studio

Hey there,


So, you want to get started and you’re wondering if you should practice by yourself or go to a studio to take a class? Well, I’m going to break down some of the benefits and limitations to both these options. Personally, I love practicing at home in my own space. When I initially started practicing however, I used to go to classes. It took me a couple of months before I started practicing at home following a video. And only in the last year and a half did I start practicing on my own without any guidance. If you want to know more about how I started yoga check out my youtube video where I talk about it.

While reading this I want you to keep in mind that the following pro/con list is my opinion based on my  experiences. Yoga and life is all about finding what works for you. No one knows you better than yourself. Listen to what you need and want.

PRO #1 PRIVACY

When practicing at home you have complete privacy. You can fall, stumble, fart, whatever it is you do, and not have to worry about anyone else. You are in your own space. A lot of the time we feel more comfortable in our own space. I recently started working on a handstand practice and I prefer practicing that on my own because I’ve noticed I worry less about what I look like and I am more focused on what my practice feels like.

CON #1 FORGET TO LEAVE OUR COMFORT ZONE

We can get into this habit of being on our own and we forget to push ourselves to some times wander outside of our comfort zone. We need to be able to push those boundaries because that is how we grow. If we choose to practice at home simply because we are worried about being judged in public maybe we need to rethink our mindset. Yoga is not about judgment. That is something we need to remember. It is very important to be comfortable but to also remember when you need to push yourself.

PRO #2 SAVING TIME

When you practice at home you are incharge of when, where, and for how long you practice. You also don’t need to worry about driving, taking a bus, or walking somewhere. All you need to do is roll out your mat. You can practice early in the morning or late into the evening. Whatever works for your schedule. You can always choose to practice 15 minutes on days when you are short on time. I always say any length of practice is better than no practice.

CON #2 PROCRASTINATION

When no one is holding you accountable to show up somewhere it’s easier to procrastinate. It is easier to make up excuses. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. If you are someone who struggles with this, then it might be a good time to practice being accountable for yourself. A yoga practice is easy to push aside. You need to always remember why it is you choose to practice. Remember what you feel like after you practice. Keep that in the forefront of your mind.

PRO #3 IT IS CHEAPER

There is so much free content available on Youtube and so many other sites to help guide you in your home practice. There are short practices too that you can pick and choose to fit your schedule. Your life is busy, everyday is different, when you practice at home you choose what fits you in the moment. You also don’t have to feel like you are wasting money if you don’t go to a studio everyday. There are also lots of decently priced online classes to choose from if you want more content.

CON #3 YOU MISS OUT ON THE ENERGY AND SOCIALIZING OF A GROUP CLASS.

This can be a pro or a con. If you are someone like me, socializing could be something you are not too comfortable with always. Avoiding it might sound awesome. If that is you, while there is nothing wrong with not being comfortable in groups, it is important that we practice what we aren’t comfortable with. Like I said before, life is all about growing. A yoga class is a great place to practice self-confidence. Even though you are in a group your practice is still your own. Recognizing that gives you a wonderful sense of confidence and freedom.  

PRO #4 VARIETY OF CLASSES

There is so much variety to choose from when you’re practicing at home using online content. If you want to learn the split there are specific classes just for that. You can choose what you want to focus on. You can do whatever you body needs and wants in that moment.

CON #4 YOU DON’T HAVE A TEACHER TO HELP WITH ALIGNMENT

When practicing by yourself it is easy to be practicing a pose incorrectly and not be aware of it. In class you have the privilege of someone being able to help you with alignment. It is not easy to look at yourself while practicing so it helps to have a teacher who will do that. Sometimes the smallest change of alignment can make all the difference in an asana.

So guys, that my list for now. I think it’s very important to find what works for you and know it might not be the same as what works for someone else. We are all different. We need to find our own sense of balance. Some people only go to group class. Some people only practice at home by themselves. Some people do a combination of both. Neither is right or wrong. If you are just starting out give both ways a try. See what works for you and be open to change.


2 Postures To Get Through The Mid-Day Slump

You know that feeling, when you come home after a long day and your exhausted. All you want to do is take a nap but at the same time you can’t get your mind to shut off. Well in my experience I don’t always have the time for a nap, or when I do nap I find it hard to wake up, or I usually wake up slightly agitated. I’ve been trying to think of some better ways to get over that mid-day slump. There is nothing wrong with needing some time to rest and we don’t need to do it for an hour or more. We just need a little bit of time to help us get through the rest of the day productively. It comes down to learning to rest smarter instead of longer.

These two poses are inspired from a savasana practice.

Lay down on your back and place a block below your lower back and the second block below your neck. You can decide how high you want your blocks to be. Bring the soles of your feet together in butterfly position. Or have your legs extended out in front of you. You can place your hands by your sides or over your head.  You could always replace the blocks with pillows, cushions, or blankets.

This is a great pose to release tension in the lower back and neck. I find that is where we tend to hold a lot of tension especially if we are spending time on our feet, at a computer, or at a desk. It’s also a great posture to open up the chest.

For the second variation once again lay on your back. Place one pillow below your head and the second below your knees. This will cause a slight bend and external rotation of the knees. This lengthens your lower back.

Once you are in either of these postures bring your focus to your breath. I like to listen to a short guided meditation or a yoga nidra practice. My favorite app to use at the moment is Insight Timer (I will link it below). Sometimes I like to throw a blanket over myself especially now that it is getting colder. Savasana, without any guidance, can be hard to relax into which is why I like to listen to a meditation. This also gives you something to focus on and you are able to take a break from the busyness of your daily schedule.

Be kind to yourself. Give yourself 15 to 20 minutes, if you’ve got time do it for 30 minutes! However long you spend here, remember to be completely present. All your work, to do lists, and responsibilities aren’t going anywhere. You’re doing this so that you can do everything you need to do with more energy and vigor.

I’ve started looking forward to afternoon breaks. It helps me feel refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day. Don’t be afraid if you fall asleep during your meditation as that usually means your body and your mind need the rest. Learning to give our body what it needs when it needs it is a lifelong practice. Make sure you give it a try!

Love, light, and positivity,

Vanessa


Meditation App: https://insighttimer.com/