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.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

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. 

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