Spring of Hearts

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about people’s hearts. Putting religion and culture aside, I believe people are born with love in their hearts, and whatever happens from thereon still leaves them with either a full supply of it or a minimal residue. I like to think of it as precious, small seeds; a default set of seeds we all get and are in charge of nurturing each day of our lives, in how we view the world, treat others and most importantly, treat ourselves. By opening our hearts to others and spreading our love, we are creating a unifying blooming season, like Spring :) Here’s my heart-opening pose for today, the Wild Thing :)

Much love~

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Sun and Rain. Grass and Ocean.

How’s April going for you? It’s been both sunny and rainy here in the Big Apple, but that’s not stopping us! With days like the ones we had this past Saturday at Smorgasburg (the coolest market by the river on the Brooklyn side), we’re ok with a little damper on our Spring. Follow us on Instagram for more updates!

@withlovetutti @yogarico @lauriana

Namaste :)

Side Plank in Williamsburg. Smorgasburg Market. Brooklyn yoga. April Yoga Challenge

Side Plank in Williamsburg. Smorgasburg Market. Brooklyn yoga.

Island Yoga. Puerto Rico vacation. Yoga on the Beach. Breathe In. Breathe Out.

Core Yoga Challenge- April!

Lau and I decided to take part in our first yoga challenge! It’s being hosted by the wonderfully inspiring @kinoyoga @beachyogagirl @stoked_yogi and @glidesup (Instagram).

Here’s a breakdown of the daily poses. Join us in the fun!!! Follow each of us on Instagram to follow our progress ;) @withlovetutti and @lauriana

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Standing Split in Paradise

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At the height of my practice, when I’m all warmed up and feeling loose, the standing split is one of those asanas that make me feel delicious. It stretches out what feels like my entire body, all while bringing a deep sense of relaxation to my mind. The inversion aspect of this pose brings yummy benefits to your body, including an increase in oxygen supply to the brain (hence the calming feeling), vigorous blood circulation through your entire body and the clearing off of built-up lactic acid in your body (which is a good thing). All this while giving you a solid stretch down the back of your legs, knees, ankles, groin and calves. The standing split also stimulates your internal organs, specifically your liver and kidneys :) So when you’re at your next yoga class, and all you’re feeling is a muscular stretch, know that your hour is not spent in vain… it has long-term benefits for your entire body, from the inside out!

You can either decrease or increase the level of intensity of this pose by a) placing hands further/ closer to standing leg, b) bending/ straightening standing leg more, c) placing hand(s) on standing leg (to increase intensity). In the picture above, you can see I was still looking between my hands for balance, but if you can, try to relax your head and let it hang completely to lengthen the spine. Also, make sure to keep your hips squared while performing the standing split. This will allow you to really feel all the benefits listed above.

As always, make sure you’re breathing smoothly and consistently so you’re always energizing your body with fresh fuel! Maintain a steady mind, and you’ll start seeing your practice evolve beautifully.

Namaste

~Tutti & Lau

 

YoGUYS! Yoga For LazyAsses Who Don’t Stretch

This one is particularly geared toward guys… so I mean that in the cutest possible way.

No more excuses. Here’s a short clip of what you can do to start incorporating yoga into your life. I’ll keep this short and straight-forward so I don’t lose you.

Keep these things in mind:

1. Try as best you can to guide every movement by your own breath. Our bodies perform their best when you’re fueling it with fresh oxygen and ridding it from stale air. Follow my direction to get the flow of things, and continue the same pattern. Inhale & exhale through your nose.

2. To get the best stretch in your hamstrings, keep your quadriceps engaged/ flexed. This also applies to any other antagonist muscle group (pairs located in opposite sides of a joint or bone) because when one is contracted, the other is relaxed, allowing you to fully stretch it out.

3. In downward dog:

  • Relax head
  • Separate shoulders from ears
  • Suck-in navel (I like to call it belly-button), contract your core
  • Picture your chest moving toward your knees (crazy thought, I know)
  • Heels toward the floor- give it time
  • Engaged legs! What the hell does that mean? Just flex them.

4. 90 degrees, 90 degrees, 90 degrees. Don’t get hurt, keep your knee over your ankle.

5. Breathe.

6. Adjust yourself during poses, especially those hips & shoulders.

  • In Warrior 1= hips squared
  • In Warrior 2 = hips open

7. Breathe.

8. This sequence:

  • Forward-fold
  • High-Lunge + mini backbend (do right leg, then left leg, or whichever you want to start with)
  • Warrior 1

—- you get the choice here of opening up directly from Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 OR “taking your flow” after Warrior 1 then coming up into another Warrior 1 and opening up to Warrior 2 —-

  • Warrior 2 ( again, make sure to add the opposite leg, didn’t want to bore you with a longer video)
  • Forward-fold
  • Bridge Pose

That’s it! Try doing this a couple times a week and you’ll soon start feeling bendier and better in general :) Here’s the video

Namaste!

Off-topic note: the shirt I’m wearing is in support of Cristy, who is fighting Cystic Fibrosis. This is a foundation very dear to my heart, and one I constantly support as well for Ella Wicks. Both girls have a wonderful support system that is active in giving us opportunities to help out- buying a shirt, joining in a 5k, playing a golf tournament, etc. If you’re interested in donating to either of these girls’ specific foundations, please get in touch with me and I’ll direct you to the proper people. Thank you!!!

YoGUYS! Yoga for LazyAsses Who Don’t Stretch from YogaRico on Vimeo.

I’m calling this “The Floating Split”

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To be honest, I’m not quite sure I’m doing this right or if I’m getting into it the proper way, but isn’t yoga about doing what works for your body (within safe practice limitations)?? I’ve seen this asana several times and am always enthralled by it, so I wanted to give it a try in sandy conditions.

I’ve seen yogis get into this in different ways, but I’ll share my own. From a low lunge with your right foot forward, place both hands inside the right foot to allow gravity to pull your hip flexor down and begin opening those hips. Next, bring your chest toward the ground and, if possible, hook your right shoulder under your right knee, placing your right arm to the right of the right leg and the left arm to the left. Stay here for a couple breaths to begin feeling the benefits of this pose. Then, with your leg secured on your shoulder, put all your weight on your right hand, lift your right foot off the ground and hold it with your left hand. Begin pulling your right leg straight as you open your chest to the sky. The goal is to create a straight line from one foot to the other and to open your chest fully.

Although it seems I’m able to do this pose, I still have a lot of work to do to feel comfortable in it. I was only able to hold this for about three seconds and fell out in the most ungraceful fashion (especially considering I was in a bathing suit = FAIL). Also, I want to be able to open my chest upward and even look up while doing it.

The good thing is I can work with goals! It’s important to keep track of your progress so you constantly challenge yourself to do better for yourself.

Maybe I’ll post a short clip on Instagram (@yogarico) to show you how I got into this! Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a joyful and lovely holiday break :)

Namaste!

-Tutti & Lau

It’s Grasshopper Time!

In honor of hump day, I decided to post about a new favorite asana called Grasshopper. Anything with a name like that catches my attention. Look how funky it looks!

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I found a great article/ blog post that details exactly how to get into this pose, and I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so here’s the link:

http://blogs.yogajournal.com/challengepose/2011/03/challenge-pose-grasshopper.html

What are the benefits of this pose?

  • Nourishes your spine
  • Opens your hips
  • Strengthens your core, shoulders, chest and buttocks (aka ass)

One of the advantages of taking pictures of myself in poses is I get to see what I need to work on. Remember, yoga is a practice, and rarely can people master certain skills without practicing them over and over again. Same goes for yoga. Seeing this picture tells me I need to work on squaring off my shoulders so one isn’t drooping more than the other, which could lead to injury. Don’t be afraid of documenting your progress! After all, if it allows you to improve and move forward, then why not?!

Happy Yoga Hump Day! Namaste away!

Find Your Quiet Space

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Many of us, myself included, find it difficult to separate a portion of the day to simply quiet the mind. Errands, work, meetings, to-do’s, calls, etc. always seem to get the best of us. I know I’m guilty of it. However, the times I’ve been successful giving myself the time of day, I’ve been exponentially more aware of everything around me- real priorities vs. trivial circumstances.

So today I invite you to try to give yourself some time for you, to not think of anything, to simply listen to and feel your breath because, after all, that’s what keeps us alive :) Take short or deep inhales & exhales, don’t judge their length or depth, simply calm your mind and breathe. If you find it difficult to silence all those “things” that take up most of your brain space, simply focus on what the air feels like coming in through your nose, filling your lungs with a healthy dose of fresh oxygen and then leaving your body to allow new air. Set a timer for yourself to not allow the distraction of time to get in your way. Inhale, exhale and repeat. Enjoy :)

Namaste from Tutti & Lau