Exploring the yoga of life.
Monthly tips to take your yoga off the mat and into your real world – stress busters to keep you on track!
The day can take a toll on our posture. Gravity and fatigue are strong forces to battle. If you notice that you are sitting with your head forward, shoulders rounded, and your back aches, it’s time to start give your heart some room to breathe. When we lead with our head and not with the heart, we tend to disconnect our mind, body and spirit. This is a pose to help you unravel your heart once again.
Fit2bWell tip: If balance poses causes a pang of anxiety, practice this posture seated
- Stand in Tadasana, “Mountain Pose,” with your feet hips width apart, soft knees and tall spine. Feel the crown of your head lift from the roots of your feet. Find a focus in front of you that will connect gaze to center your pose if you feel unsteady. Bend your knees softly and slightly, lift your left foot up and, while balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor. Balance on the right foot.Fitb2bwell tip: Challenge the muscular energy of your foundation by hugging the muscles to the bone, pressing the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf.
- Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor. Spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso as you find expansion of your collarbones. Keep your side body long, core connected. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left. Bend your elbows. Kiss the right elbow into the hook of the left. Lift the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.
- Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling. If you cannot press palms, focus on the elbow connection and lift from your heart.
- Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat for the same length of time with the arms and legs reversed.
Fitb2bwell tip: Expand your torso as you find strength in your legs to engage your organic expansion and lighten your breath behind the pose. Play around what the depth and angle of your hip flexion. Have fun
Fit2bwell Tip: Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and Antioxidants. When consumed in moderation, it can have heart healthy benefits. Try this recipes by coating the berries with heart attack prevention chopped nuts like almonds for more texture – Delish!
• 18-20 large fresh, strawberries (preferably organic)
• 8-10 ounces (225 – 285 grams) of good quality, dark or bittersweet chocolate, rated 70%, chopped coarse
Yield: Approximately 18-20 berries or 6-10 servings Ingredients
1. Wash strawberries, place on paper towel to dry
2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
3. Set up a double boiler by placing a sauce pan filled with water over medium heat and then a stainless steel bowl on top of the pan. Make sure bowl does not touch the water
4. Place chopped chocolate in bowl, turn heat to low
5. Let chocolate melt slowly, once completely melted, stir and turn off heat
6. Hold strawberry at stem, dip them in chocolate, and place on baking sheet to set
I began my yoga journey through competitive racing in marathons and triathlons around 2003. I have always been an athlete, from basketball to cheerleading, and have had passion in fitness and health. I used yoga and endurance racing to cope with stress and to keep healthy during medical school and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. As my clinical experience grew in medicine, I sought to use yoga and other mind/body exercises such as TRX, Hoopnotica Flow, Pilates, Cirque Fit, and Barre as modalities to not only keep people fit, but well. I later became board-certified to practice Integrative and Holistic Medicine. I am an experienced registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance and received training primarily in an Anusara inspired/Alignment-based yoga program. I also took courses in PiYo, Thai Yoga Massage, Iyengar, Restorative, Aerial Yoga and Acroyoga to add to my breadth of other fitness trainings in pilates, pilates reformer, barre, and spinning. I practice various forms of yoga outside of Anusara including Baptiste Power vinyasa, Acroyoga and Bikram. I even took focused trainings at Duke Integrative Medicine Center and at Kripalu Center for Health so that I can teach yoga and chair yoga to seniors and yoga for scoliosis. I have had the pleasure to attend trainings with esteemed teachers such as Simon Park, Seane Corne, Sianna Sherman, Jason Magness, Chelsea Magness, Elise Browning Miller, Lux Sternstein and Jason Nemer.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
I believe in balance, while exploring fun in the journey of always striving for better, and continue to learn various styles of yoga and integrative and lifestyle medicine, to further nurture myself, my students, and my patients. Aside from a full time clinical practice, I remain a teaching faculty and alumni council board member at University of Rochester School of Medicine. I enjoy teaching medical students how to become more diversified, compassionate, and holistic. Outside of Rochester, I currently serve as a peer reviewer for the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and am a contributing author to various magazines and forums. Off the mat, I have had additional trainings in Reiki, osteopathic manipulations, active release techniques, craniosacral therapy, and acupuncture. I am also a certified holistic health coach and integrative nutrition counselor. To continue my journey in sharing my passion of empowerment and self-care through joyous movement, preventative medicine, and wholesome eating, I am the founding president for Fit2bWell Health: a wellness company that focuses on bio-individuality and mindful healing. I look forward to riding this beautiful ride we call life, and to help my community grow closer together as we grow with purpose, love, and gratitude.