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.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Doing some more backbends - in Red :P

Backbends. You love them, “dislike” them or just want to get over with them … and justifiably so. If you take a look at our daily patterns, the majority of our movement is forward: we sit, we walk, we lie down, we stand — so doing the opposite can be discouraging and not to mention awkward and uncomfortable.

There are so many variations of scorpion pose likeLocust Scorpion and Forearm Stand Scorpion, but Handstand Scorpion is my favorite. It's one of the most challenging poses you can try because it requires the three zingers — balance, strength, and flexibility.  

Back-bending is an unusual position for the spine, and should be approached very gently by people with back problems, pain or injury, with the guidance of a yoga teacher. It is also not recommended to practice Urdhva Danurasana - Bow Pose (pics above) when menstruating, pregnant, very tired, suffering from high or low blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache or heart problems. A gentler back-bend, such as Sethu Bandhasana - Bridge Pose, or a supported back bend may be more suitable.

 With a little practice, back bending can be one of the most therapeutic parts of yoga. Quite a few studies show how backbends can stimulate the central nervous system, boost the immune system, helps counteract damage of bad posture by realigning the spine, relieves back pain, bronchial distress, scoliotic deformities, tennis elbow and frozen shoulder, to name a few. Apart from the wonderful physical benefits, there are also psychological and emotional benefits of back bending. They can help shift energy leaving the mind more clear and focused and they can help open the heart chakra and emotional center. B.K.S. Iyengar even recommended back bending to cure depression.

 Having practiced backbends for many years now I understand the images and the idea of it seem pretty far out. However, I also believe that the bud or the flower of yoga appears very differently from one practitioner to the next. In other words, it is not about looking like this picture or forcing your body into a tight position that feels totally uncomfortable. Sometimes we have to work through pains and problems as well as work with our limitations. But a cobra with the feet near or far from the head is never a sign of a trained or untraind mind. If a garden is like the mind then it needs weeding, watering and the soil turned over from time to time.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Outdoor Yoga sessions in Slovakia 4. July - 13. July 2013

I am on holiday, but I am training hard with my girls and boys in my beautiful home country, Slovakia. We haven't been taking pictures in each class, but when we did, they came out as great ones! :) Here is the proof...

7. July

8. July

9. July

and the last day, 12. July

I would like to thank everyone for joining and enjoying these summer Outdoor Power Yoga classes with me, I am looking forward the next time I am visiting my yoga girls and boys at home :)