ANDREA - a full time Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor.

I fell in love with yoga over seven years ago, when I got a Nintendo DS and bought a game called Let's Yoga. From then, I began 'playing' yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day. At first, the practice was more physical for me, but after few months I started to really count on yoga to bring me a sense of calm during especially chaotic days. Soon after, I began recognizing the benefits of a regular asana and meditation practice and continued to incorporate yoga daily - not just during times of chaos. I found myself feeling more energized, more compassionate, happier, and with more awareness. Now, I teach full-time and couldn't be happier to do what I love. What began as a physical practice for strength and flexibility quickly became a lifestyle. I teach my students to take their yoga off the mat and apply the principles learned in the class to their lives outside of the studio. I do not only teach my philosophy, I live it.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Yoga and Men

With some practice, dedication and an open mind, men will find that Yoga can directly benefit them in ways in which they may not have previously considered or been exposed to before. 

If you’re a guy, you know this is true.

With work, relationships, stress, family, exercising (mostly improperly) and sub-par diets, sometimes we need a “reset”, or reboot on life and our entire body. Yoga definitely provides that. 

But in case you’re still not convinced, here are a few more practical reasons on why you just might want to spend some money for a mat.

How can Yoga specifically help men?

  • Reduction of lactic acid in the muscles due to a lifetime of lifting weights
    Over the course of a man’s lifetime, lactic acid builds up in the muscle tissues. This is most often caused by weightlifting and neglecting to stretch properly. It can also be caused by inactivity and complacence. Stretching the muscles properly enables more blood and oxygen to enter the muscles tissues and remove the corrosive acid and toxins that have built up.
  • Yoga is an integrative discipline
    What this means is that when you practice Yoga, you’re never just working on one or two specific muscles like you are when you lift weights. Each Yoga posture works numerous muscles, all in concert with one another. Over time you will find that you have as much, if not more, strength than you had before (more, in myopinion). This type of strength is what’s known as “functional strength” which enhances the coordinated working relationships between networks of muscle groups.
  • Yoga IS your secret weapon
    Put simply, Yoga is what you do when you want to get even better at what you do. Play hoops with your boys on the weekend? Yoga will help you get the edge on them by bringing you new-found flexibility and stamina on the court. Are you a weekend football warrior in the park? Yoga will help you avoid or reduce downtime due to injury. Are you a road warrior in a highly competitive business environment? Yoga will help you to succeed and go the distance with new perspectives, insight and focus on your business.


“But I’m new to this. I’m not sure I can do it!”

You know what? I am pretty sure you can. Think of how many new things in life that you’ve tried that you weren’t very good at at first. But after a little practice, dedication and discipline (and once again, an honest effort) you think to yourself, “Wow, how was I ever NOT good at that.” And then you don’t ever want to go back to not being good at whatever it was that you weren’t any good at.

Anyway, Yoga is like that. You try it and the progress can be damn near immediate right from the get-go. Sometimes the first few sessions aren’t a breeze, and honestly, it can be quite humbling. But once you get hooked on the Yoga and understand that it’s a very real thing, you won’t want to go back.

Life is not about accumulation; it is about living each and every moment with joy, gratitude and determination. And Yoga is one way that the door to this attitude can be blown wide open. Life is filled with many moving parts, each one of them interacting with the others to form the tapestry of our daily existence.

It’s time to flip the script

With today’s rapid change of pace and constant bombardment of information, it is becoming common knowledge to contemporary man – or at least it should be – that he can no longer put off or ignore his physical health, ongoing development of mental capabilities and spirituality. My goal is to open the door for men to explore new avenues of accomplishing their goals – and in doing so – enable them to achieve a greater state of fulfillment and peace.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Leg Warm Up

Check out some great warm up exercises to help get you ready to workout. With warm-up stretches, you help to prepare the muscles for action, to hopefully prevent injuries like torn muscles! Easy and quick sets of exercises to do wherever you workout.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds.


Learn How To Do The Splits

A split is one of those moves that is really easy for some people and much harder for others. Even if you’re as tight as can be, though, you’ll still be able to master it if you work hard at your stretching.

A great way to get (or improve) your split is to move through a series of different stretches, from simple to advanced. If you are a beginner, you’ll probably want to master the easier stretches first before moving on to full split stretches.

Be sure to do each stretch on both sides – you’ll want a good split on both your right leg and your left leg.

Before jumping right into it, learn to get your muscles warmed up. It is essential that you steadily build your muscles up and to extensively do your stretches prior to performing a quick split. Take note: if your muscles are very cold and you are feeling tense, chances are, you will find it difficult to do the splits or even stretches leading to a full split. 

 Exhale - fold forward, place your palms on the line with your feet. Inhale - straighten your back. Repeat 10x

Stay here for 10 breaths.

On an inhalation, raise your arms above your head. Exhale - lower your left arm and stretch your right arm to the left. Inhale - raise both arms above your head, exhale - lean to the right. Repeat 10x to  each side.

Straighten your legs and hold your right ankle. Keep your back straight. On an exhalation, lean forward and try to touch the knee with your forehead. Inhale - straighten your back. Repeat 10x and change sides.

Wide Legged Downward Facing Dog 

 Downward Facing Dog. On an inhalation, raise your left leg up, stay here for 10 breaths. Repeat to the other side.

On an inhalation bend your knee on the raised leg. Exhale - bring your knee to your chest, curl your back. Repeat 10x and change legs. 

 Step with your right leg to the side, raise your left arm and stretch. Stay for 10 breaths and change sides.

 Bend your front leg and stretch the other one behind you. First, straighten your back and stretch your arms up above your head, stay for 5 breaths and then lean back and stay for another 5 breaths.

 Bend forward, relax your shoulders.

 Sit with your legs wide and lean forward. Make sure your toes are pointing up. Stay for 10 breaths. Then, sit up slowly, bend your left knee, so the feet is in front of you and stretch your right leg up in front of you. Make sure your back is straight. Stay here for 5 breaths and repeat with the other leg.

 From Plank Pose, place your forearms on the floor and bring your right leg to your elbow. Stay for 5 breaths. Place your left foot on the floor, lift yourself up a little. Stay here for 5 breaths. Repeat to the other side.

 Raise your arms above your head, lean back. Stay for 5 breaths. Come down more and stretch your leg, lift your foot as you see on the picture. Stay for 5 breaths and repeat with the other leg.

Kneel down, stretch your left leg to the side. Inhale - raise your right arm above your head and on an exhalation lean to the left. Stay for 10 breaths and repeat to the other side. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Practice 1 for DVD - done!

Finally, four girls with different schedules found time and we filmed the Practice 1 for my DVD yesterday. It went even better than we thought, mainly because of our Technical Master of Masters - Justé :) she is the best! But we also did our part... :)

Here are some pics so you can see how we worked :)