sacral chakra affirmations sex|yogi surprise

Sacral Chakra Affirmations & Exercises to Enhance Your Sex Life

Would you like a better sex life?

Who wouldn't, right? It's really about finding the best way for each of us individually to connect with what inspires and excites us. And we all know that our sex drive comes from a deeply emotional place. Even when we want to deny that and insist it's more primal or purely physical, sex is about connection. Connecting to our emotions are how we do that. Gratitude for having a body that functions and can move in sexual ways is another time-tested strategy. And communication is everything. Sacral chakra affirmations can only help us discover our sexuality in more profound ways.

Important deets about the sacral chakra

  • It's the second chakra. It lives right above the root chakra and it builds on that strong foundation.
  • It's Sanskrit name is Svadhisthana and it means "your own place". This is where you own yourself and all that makes you who you are.
  • The sacral chakra's function is emotional connection and pleasure. Roar. We need to value doing things purely for pleasure in a more meaningful way. Sacral chakra affirmations remind us it's not only okay to feel good, it's imperative.
  • Balancing the sacral chakra provides a greater sense of flexibility and fluidity. Its element is water. Knowing how to flow with changes big and small allows us to retain a sense of calm and well-being even when the storms come. Our sexuality is often a reflection of our stress-reactions so being capable of still connecting to our sex drives no matter what we're dealing with helps us to keep our second chakra balanced.

So how do we do this? Oh, you know what I'm going to say. We practice, a lot! But what a fun and motivating practice it is. Let's start with some sacral chakra affirmations that will help us remember our sexuality and remind us to not check out when our feelings bubble up. Even when feelings bring us pleasure, sometimes this can be overwhelming. If we're experiencing self-worth issues, we're likely to scramble away from feeling anything too intense.

Sacral Chakra affirmations

Try these affirmations first thing in the morning and anytime you may feel your sex drive waning or distractions from life creeping into your sexual world.

I am grateful I can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel touch intensely. 

My sexuality is deeply valuable and it's unique to me.

What I find pleasurable and exciting helps me connect to myself on a boundless level. 

Sacral Chakra exercises to bring your fantasies to life

Incorporate these practices to build on the already strong foundation you have and increase both your pleasure and sense of connection to yourself and others.  Our sacral chakra needs constant attendance and inspiration to continue to thrive and extend to the health of our other chakras. Try these in conjunction with sacral chakra affirmations.

  1. Lay down with your hands on your belly. Breath deeply and implore your mind to open. Create a vision of the sexual being you are and add texture and context to lead you towards who you want to be in this realm of your life. What excites you? What drives your passion? If you have a partner, incorporate them into your vision. If you don't, create the partner you want mentally and determine how you want them to respond to you emotionally and sexually.
  2. Make a written list of all your fantasies. Don't hold back. Include places, outfits, props, toys, food, role plays, and anything else that gets you excited. Read this list daily and continue to add to it. Manifest the sexual world you wish to live in.
  3. Practice yoga poses that enliven your sensuality. What postures make you feel alive, beautiful, and full of vigor? Do them daily, several times a day if you're having trouble igniting your connection to the sexual being you are.
  4. Incorporate your root chakra energy and your solar plexus chakra into the development of your sacral chakra balance. Borrow from those energy balances by grounding practices as well as empowering exercises to stimulate and solidify how well your sacral chakra functions. To empower yourself and find a deeper sense of fulfillment, try projecting your voice, getting out of your comfort zone, and asserting yourself in positive ways.

The life we want is begging us to live it. We just might have to direct a little more energy in its direction to have all that we deserve. Enjoy your explorations.

Are you needing a bit more inspiration? Sign up for the Yogi Surprise monthly box and enjoy the delicious sense of self-care and creative boosts our carefully curated offerings can offer you.

 

 

 

 


yoga class themes ideas|yogi surprise

Yoga Class Themes That Land Without Beating People Over The Head

I've been quite guilty of this.

A themed yoga class turns a practice into a deeply personal experience. You'll carry it with you and continue to revisit the offering long after you've left the studio and gone about your day. If the message is one we're receptive to hearing, that's usually enough to hit us hard and insist on further contemplation.

Themed yoga classes offer us a wonderful way to continue our practice long after we've rolled up our mats

This one time, in yoga class, the teacher came in and asked each of us to reach into a basket with our eyes closed and take an item from within. I was so excited until I retrieved my item and saw it was a plastic car. One of those old matchbox racer types. It didn't land right away, but once the instructor gave his dharma talk, it hit me like a wheel barrel full of bricks.

I had somewhere I needed to go and something very specific to do.

The whole class was about looking for signs. And they're everywhere if we're receptive. The woman on my right had a knitting needle placed at the top of her mat. The dude to my left was holding his item, a stress ball, and squeezing the living shit out of it. The instructor suggested we contemplate our chosen item and wait. He gave us time in quiet meditation to let the object speak to us. There was no music and no talking. I ran the little race car with the red stripes against a black background over my hand and up my arm, silently laughing about how silly I was being. Yet it felt so natural and ignited a spark.

The power of suggestion is often all we need to take action

Once we began to move, he'd bring us back to looking for signs from time to time. He didn't mention it every single pose, nor every other. He'd wait until we landed in a posture he intended to help us stay in and investigate. He'd ask one question, and then quietly allow time for us to internally answer.

"How can you make this posture feel brand new to you?"

"Do you think you should change anything or just be inside the pose experience?"

"Are you missing something important here?"

"Should you possibly change your approach here?"

The instructor understood he'd planted a seed but didn't need to over water it. He said just enough to help us find our own way to explore and interpret.

Yoga class themes help us pay attention to what's important

That was my big take away. If we keep falling out of a balancing pose but continue to utilize the same approach and wind up with the same result, we're ignoring something that needs to be acknowledged. When we stop for a second and give the information that's right in front of our faces a chance to sink in, we can adjust and benefit from the newly absorbed data.

After this practice, I felt extra-observant. A private client canceled. Time opened up and allowed me to take a short trip to see an ailing friend. Later that same day, I received an email from another friend who lives in Atlanta. She decided to throw a silent auction and party to raise money and awareness for the same illness my friend is suffering from. I booked a flight within minutes.

Even if we try to ignore our needs and desires, they will eventually insist on our attention

If I had done a home practice that day, I wouldn't have heard what I really needed to sit with. Making the excuse of being too busy to travel and attend to the people and things I love was now no longer possible.

The instructor understood that universal yoga class themes will hit everyone in different ways. I'm so curious about the knitting needle lady and the stress ball guy. How did they continue to practice after class?

 

 

 


gratitude is the answer practice|yogi surprise

3 Truths Proving Gratitude is the Answer You're Ignoring

We are all very well aware that gratitude needs to be a dominant force.

But when shit goes down, and we're in the throes of anger, frustration, and feeling a lack of control, gratitude is typically the last place we go. Even though it's very difficult to remember saying thank you in the face of adversity helps, it's exactly what we need to train ourselves to do.

When we suffer, gratitude is the answer

Think back to the last time you felt sadness. For most of us, it's a daily thing. Even if it's minor, we suffer over things both large and tiny. It's not hard to get worked up. Traffic pisses everyone off to varying degrees. Saying hello to someone you pass on the street who doesn't respond doesn't feel good. Emailing a client who gets back to you but doesn't answer any of your carefully crafted questions is annoying. Trying an arm balance in yoga class and landing flat on your face sucks. Even though at the end of the day these occurrences are small potatoes, at the moment, they bother us. Gratitude is the last thing on our minds.

Saying thank you holds all kinds of power

Let's revisit a couple of the above examples and insert gratitude as the answer. If you're walking down the street, feeling super and sunny and you say hello to someone who fails to respond, be grateful you're feeling friendly and warm. Be cognizant you have no idea why they chose not to respond. Remembering you offered kindness by saying hello. Allow your intention to be about them instead of you.

If you email a client and they don't address your questions, saying thank you out loud will mitigate feelings of irritation. Maybe they were in a hurry. Maybe they didn't know the answers so they chose to ignore your questions. When gratitude is the answer, you see opportunity instead of aggravation. Email them back thanking them for responding. Phrase your questions again a bit differently and use the opportunity to improve your clarity. See it as the teachable moment it could be.

Easy to preach, hard to live

Do we always take our own advice? Hell no. I can road rage with the best of them. Taking things personally is one of my most developed muscles. So we practice. We practice daily. Some days we do better than others. But owning the fact that gratitude is the answer can only help us. Gratitude never harms.

3 strategies for believing gratitude is the answer and how to listen

It sucks to feel upset. I know a few people who seemingly don't get upset easily and I admire them for it. This is what I've learned from these chill folks who live just a little more comfortably than I do:

  1. Don't care so much. It sounds strange to encourage others not to care. We must care. But we must not care about every little thing. Mark Manson wrote a very well-received and popular book called, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ckHe details this concept artfully and expresses saying thank you that you don't care so much about everything as the way to go. We have to conserve our energy for what and who really matters.
  2. Locate the opportunity. When we choose gratitude as the answer instead of anger, opportunities prevail like a glistening rainbow framed by calico kittens. If you try to execute an arm balance in yoga class and you fail, saying thank you will lead you down the path of informative assistance. Getting pissed and giving up will never make that posture yours. Failure just means you need to go about it differently. You're smart. And you're humble. Be thankful these things are true and try again after acknowledging the things you didn't employ the first time.
  3. Recognize truth when it's staring you in the face. Think about the last time you had a fight with a loved one. It's jarring and typically, both people are wrong in some way and defensive. Instead of focusing on what they should think, feel, do, and say, turn the mirror on yourself. "How can I see this differently? What could I have chosen not to say? Why am I being defensive?" These questions will almost always lead us to take personal responsibility, unveil our truth, and solve some of the hurt feelings. Being grateful we are capable of doing this can only lead to good. When we're very busy being right, we're also attached to suffering.

We're promised difficult moments every day. The difference in the varying degrees of said challenges is recruiting gratitude. Please comment on how this practice goes for you today. We all learn from example.

 

 


trigger points self-massage|yogi surprise

Self-Massage Benefits and Handling Delicate Trigger Points

I'd put getting a trigger points massage right up there with oysters and champaign for dinner. It's extremely necessary to lead a happy life and be in optimal health.

There's nothing to argue here. If you can swing it, go get yourself a professional massage once a month. If that's not in the budget, perhaps you have a willing partner or friend who's game to quid pro quo with you.

When none of this is feasible, you've always got yourself to rely on. And self-massage has loads of benefits, so we should be doing that anyway on the reg.

There are trigger points lurking, waiting for you to find them

They're not hidden. They're just not always obvious. The excitement lives inside the self-discovery of what feels insanely good to you. It's also pertinent information to know what's really irritable in your body and how to handle those delicate spots. Do you like it when someone tickles your arm? A lot of people love it.  I dislike it so much it makes my hair grow in different directions. Trigger points are different for each of us. So we need and deserve to spend some time in self-exploration.

What exactly are trigger points and how do they work?

According to Massage Envy, trigger points are "tight areas within the muscle or connective tissue that cause pain in other parts of the body. Trigger points massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of irritation through cycles of isolated pressure and release. The massage receiver actively participates through deep breathing and identification of the exact locations and intensity of discomfort."

I don't want to be in pain, do you? Releasing and mitigating pain removes distraction in our bodies and help us redirect that energy elsewhere. Learning to do this for ourselves is important daily work and a form of self-care that may be missing from your life.

Benefits of Self-Massage

According to the Yoga Healer, these are some of the numerous benefits of self-massage:

  • Calming of the nerves
  • Lubrication of the joints
  • Increased circulation (yes, please!)
  • better sleep
  • Toning of the muscles

I'm sold, you? The Yoga Healer recommends using oil (such as sesame oil), long strokes over limbs and circular strokes over joints, chest, and your belly. You can use your hands or a hand-held massage tool to assist you in finding the right pressure to manage your own trigger points.

Add this to your self-care routine. We require an arsenal of ways to take the very best care of ourselves possible. When we take the time to attend to ourselves, we have so much more to offer to the world at large. We know this. So we must.

What's your favorite way to take care of you? Please comment so we can all benefit and learn from your techniques.

 


oil cleansing method skin|yogi surprise

Use An Oil Cleansing Method to Put Your Best Face Forward

I swear to you, washing your face with oil makes a whole lotta sense.

If you've never tried an oil cleansing method, I'm really excited for you right now

I was skeptical too. Very. But those who recommended using oil cleansing versus soap and water sure as hell had really nice skin. Trust the people who have the skin you want.

Like attracts like

It was only about ten years ago that this concept introduced itself to me. The law of attraction is that like attracts like. I had grown up with the opposites attract ideology. When we question what we know to be true, we can consider doing things differently and with gusto.

Reasons using an oil cleansing method will improve your skin

  • It's a fact that oil dissolves oil. If you have oily skin, that means there is an overproduction of oil. To mitigate this, using the right oils depending on your skin's needs can effectively clear up an abundance of oil, blackheads, acne, dry skin, you name it.
  • Balance. By using natural oils to clean your face combats the oils your body produces that have become stuck. Dissolving these oils will create a healthy balance in your skin.

I'm not an esthetician. I have no medical background. But as an avid oil cleansing method practitioner, I've seen the results. I stopped breaking out, even during my cycle. My skin feels moisturized, luminous, and healthy. I definitely have seen a decrease in fine lines. It's even helped with the appearance of dark circles. But it took me a while to figure out the best oil for my skin, truth be told.

But be forewarned, not all oils work the same. Essential oils can be harsh.

Rosehip oil across the board is safe and effective. Essential oils often need to be diluted and combined with other oils to be as helpful as possible. You might have a reaction if you use an oil that is simply not good for your needs. My routine is rosehip oil morning and night and a microfiber towel with warm water. That may work for you, and it may not.

Which oils should you use?

That's the 'rub', isn't it? Here's a list of common skin ailments and potent oils that help reduce the issues:

  • For aging skin, rosehip oil is a winner. This was the game-changer for me. I tried the other recommended oils for aging skin such as jojoba and lavender, but rosehip had a much more noticeable effect. My skin stopped looking oily and I found I only needed a few drops morning and night. You could try a combination of these oils as well. Trial and error may be how you find the best solution for you.
  • Acne is a bummer. Experiment with thyme essential oil. It's been shown to be effective in fighting the bacteria that causes acne. Dilute.
  • If you have dry skin, there are many oil cleansing methods you can try to rectify this issue. Consider carrot seed essential oil. It's incredibly moisturizing and it can also protect your skin because it contains so many antioxidants. But there are many oil cleansing methods that may help with dry skin. Sesame oil is highly recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners to soften and heal the skin. Try it in combination with dry skin brushing. You will be blown away.

Is organic oil an important factor?

Yes. Simply yes. If staying away from chemicals and other harsh components in your skin care matters to you, go organic. Look for products that are labeled 'USDA Certified Organic'. Be sure to read all of the ingredients before buying.

Don't be discouraged if the first thing you try isn't the best thing for you. Sensitive skin and allergies need to be taken into consideration. Counterindications are important to know. There are many skin specialists who can work with you and help you discover the exact best combination of essential oils to create the perfect oil cleansing method specifically for you. Essential oils are not FDA approved as a skin treatment. Educate yourself, know your own sensitivities and allergies, and study up on the ideal course of action for you. Your best skin is waiting for you, just right around the corner.


how often should you do yoga questions|yogi surprise

How Often Should You Do Yoga? The Most Common Questions Asked and Answered

How often should you do yoga? Which yoga mat should I buy? How long will it take for my hamstrings to become more open? Should I do handstands if I've had a rotator cuff injury?

The inquiry never stops, nor should it. Ask and question everything. There's only circumstantial evidence that curiosity killed the cat. Curiosity is what it's all about.

If you have a question about yoga, chances are that many others have the same inquiry

I've been teaching yoga for coming up on 13 years now. Primarily, I teach Vinyasa Yoga. But I've also spent time teaching Hatha, Yin, and Restorative. Below are the most common questions I've received over the years. The answers are based in both fact and opinion, so take it all with a big bag of salt. And keep that curiosity muscle flexed.

How often should you do yoga?

Daily. Keep in mind that your practice should reflect your goals, health, injury accommodation, and any other needs. Many swear by daily meditation. This can certainly be viewed as a yoga practice. If you believe the concept that your practice is your life, then practicing with every action you take, every word you speak and choice you make is how often you should do yoga. But if we're zeroing in on asana, I'm still going with daily. The practice can be restorative with lots of support from props and deep stretches. If muscle building and a lovely combo of strength and flexibility is what you're after, then get on your mat each day, even if it's just for a few minutes. If that's overwhelming or doesn't feel possible, aim for at least three times a week to really begin to see benefits and progress.

What yoga mat should I buy?

The style of practice you love will help dictate which mat you decide to invest in. If you're brand new to yoga, get a simple, inexpensive yoga mat. Mats can run anywhere from $10.00 to $160.00, so be sure you're going to commit to a practice before buying a high-quality mat. There are lots of good options out there. Manduka offers a lifetime guarantee, and the price tag reflects it. I've had mine since about a year before going through yoga teacher training, so that makes it more than 14 years-old. And there's not one molecule of damage. Certain mats are better for doing hot yoga because they really do offer better support in the effort to not slide off your damn mat. So, depending on your needs, there's a mat that's perfect for you.

Should I practice with an injury?

Absolutely! But you need to modify, obvi. A little over four years ago I broke my leg in an ATV accident. I know they look fun, but they're really damn dangerous. Figuring out how to do yoga when I couldn't even stand without crutches was definitely a challenge. I made this video of my daily yoga sequence so others suffering from a lower extremity injury had options for practice. Find a way, but please for the love, let your injury heal. So if you just dig handstands in a way you can barely explain, I get it. But stop doing them if you have a shoulder, wrist, hand, or elbow injury. Heal. The pose isn't going anywhere.

How long will it take for my hamstrings to loosen up?

It really, really depends on you. Genetics plays a role. But with diligent and safe attention, the hamstrings can begin to feel more spacious. Stay with it. They need frequent maintenance. But be careful about overdoing it. Hamstring injuries totally suck and trust that you don't want one.

Include any burning yoga practice questions you have in the comments. We'd love to help!


yoga for hip pain modifications|yogi surprise

Practicing Yoga for Hip Pain and the Power of Backing Off

Some of us just are not all that talented at resting.

If you're an active sort and have trouble keeping still, then being told to rest might feel like a punishment. Since the joints of the hips are so large, sometimes they require more rest than we want to give them. But they will keep asking. And often, it will show up in the form of a demand.

Practicing yoga for hip pain can help depending on what's actually going on

And just because I really love stating the obvious (and I'm so damn good at it), yoga instructors are not doctors. They can't tell you why your hip hurts. Only an x-ray and qualified medical professional can help you out with that. However, if you're not ready to go that route, trying rest may be your best bet. See where that takes you. Not interested? Then go see a professional so you know what you're dealing with.

Less is often more

I promise. It feels like those words are spilling out of my mouth on the regular as of late. The very deepest place you can go is not necessarily the most optimal for you. If you're always reaching for the biggest and most extensive stretch, this may be where you need to begin. Try doing less, rest, backing off, and getting cozy with a more subtle stretch may be the yoga for hip pain prescription you really need.

Yoga hip openers and modifications

Most hip openers are asymmetrical. This is outstanding when you are trying to let one side of your body rest and heal and want to nurture the other side. Props such as blocks, bolsters, and blankets become very good friends in many hip opening and strengthening poses. We have to respond with compassion to pain. We shouldn't push past it. It requires respectful acknowledgment and a kind response.

Pigeon pose is a fan favorite in the asana realm. I really can't recall a class where people have neglected to request hip openers. It's a big need and practicing yoga for hip pain is probably how a lot of people find yoga in the first place.

If you are in pain, the only solution is to back off. Minimize how deep you go and how often you go there. Joints and tendons have strong reactions when they are pushed past their capacity.

Ways to modify in popular hip openers

  • Pigeon pose: use a blanket, block or bolster underneath the hamstrings of the forward bent leg. It will help with easing pressure placed on the knee joints and possibly provide a more valuable stretch to the hips.
  • Cobbler's pose: Sit on a block to tilt your pelvis forward and provide relief to the muscles surrounding the spine.
  • Figure Four: If you are laying on the ground. you could place the foot of the bottom leg on the ground instead of suspended in the air. This will minimize the stretch and not tax the spine.

Subtle stretches have a lot to offer. Apply the principle of how much you give and what you're specifically receiving to take the very best care of yourself possible.


yoga friendship shared values|yogi surprise

The Yoga Friendship: How Many of Us Have Met Our Closest Friends Via Yoga?

I'm so inspired by the idea of yoga friendship I actually wrote a novel based on that concept. Yoga studios are a unique place and they practically beg us to connect with others. In the novel, Yoga Trainthe main characters, Devon and Ruby, meet at the yoga studio. Devon has been wanting to approach Ruby and she finally does. As she puts her mat down next to Ruby's, she looks up at Devon and says, "Hi. I like your purple eye-liner." And that was that.

The yoga friendship begins with common ground and a shared experience

Seems like a damn good place to start building a relationship. Yoga becomes the way we live our lives. We all want to connect with other like-minded folks who care about their minds, bodies, and how they affect and influence the world around them. Self-awareness is a key component in the development of a yoga practice. Automatically, we want to form relationships with others who value that too.

We yogis get extremely passionate. A fire starts and it doesn't burn out. We form a much more honest relationship with ourselves and we take that with us out of the studio and into every aspect of our lives. It's big. It becomes who we are and we love sharing that with others.

Yoga friendships often become the core of our support system

It's all about what happens after practice that really offers us a community and genuine friendship. We connect during practice. It gives us something to talk about and bond over. It often leads to making plans after practice. A yoga date is quite common. Some of us even meet our significant others through yoga. It's a special and wonderful thing to share. Conversations become richer and there's a willingness to grow and do that with the support of one another.

I recently had a group of friends over to practice and have a potluck. Everyone asked about each other's dietary restrictions to ensure they were being mindful about each individual's needs. We practiced, helped each other with postures, cackled and cheered one another one. We had music, candles, incense, and essential oils. One yogi had recently finished a singing bowl training and she played for us. Another participant sang in her sultry, ethereal voice to bring us out of Savasana. It was one of the best practices I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy because it was such a team effort. Everyone had something truly special to offer.

Connection is everything

The dinner was incredible and everyone helped clean up. We shared epiphanies and asked questions. I don't think there was a negative comment or complaint the entire night. It was downright awesome and I can't wait to do it again. We already have a date set. How have your yoga friendships enriched your life?


yoga arm balances benefits|yogi surprise

Yoga Arm Balances: The Benefits and Reasons We Want to Do Them So Badly

The first time I saw Crow Pose (Bakasana), I was pissed that the pose even existed. It was surprising to me that yoga arm balances were even a thing. I didn't know much about yoga, and arm balances hit me hard because I knew it would take a lot of practice to be able to achieve them one day.

I remember thinking, "Oh my stars, I will never be able to do this pose. How is it possible that in a class of twenty people, I'm the only one who can't do it?" Everyone else lifted into it so seemingly easily. It was dumbfounding. If everyone else could do it, how hard could it actually be? Um, turns out the answer is pretty damn hard. And acknowledging that is crucial if you want to pursue these postures.

Yoga arm balances are flat out cool. We desperately want to be able to pull them off.

There are a lot of benefits to arm balances. But do they really deserve the amount of attention we give them? Are the benefits that valuable?

The answer is complicated. It all depends on your goals and what you think is worthy of your time and dedication. It also very much depends on your health. If you have chronic shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries or pain, should yoga arm balances be a part of your practice?

Let's examine the benefits first

  • Strength. Yoga arm balances are highly effective in developing strength in the core, arms, hands, shoulders, wrists, and back. Being strong protects us and makes our bodies more efficient. Strength is important.
  • Confidence. When something initially isn't possible and we work for it, the biggest gift is the confidence in ourselves that we develop. When our hard work pays off, we feel really good about our dedication and commitment. It's not so easy to appreciate the things that come easy. We begin to believe in ourselves in more meaningful ways.
  • Learning from failure. To try, fail, try again, fail again, change your strategy, and eventually succeed is life changing. It helps us develop a mental toughness we can't gain otherwise. Not giving up and being willing to alter our approach teaches us that we can accomplish our goals. The effort is necessary for success.

Addressing yoga arm balances and injury

Injuries are quite the teacher. It's the rare adult who's never had even a minor injury to contend with. Some injuries happen because of accidents. And others happen when we push ourselves too far or ignore what our bodies are warning us against. So how can someone with an injury still benefit from arm balances?

Postures are shapes. We contort our bodies constantly. Let's take a look at Crow Pose. You can do the shape of the pose laying on your back and receive lots of benefits and information. It can also be done perching on a block or lifting only one foot to feel the strengthing actions necessary as we develop our muscle memory.

The most important thing is to let injuries heal. We have to learn from them and take a different approach to our practice to protect an injured area. Prioritizing our health and keeping ourselves safe is the choice we need to make to be able to continue to practice.

Reasons students crave arm balances

Obviously, not everyone cares about yoga arm balances. Lots of people do yoga for stress relief, restoration, and to stretch and move their bodies. Plenty of students don't have arm balances and inversions as a part of their practice and they're so good with that. But for those who do care, it's important to know the reasons beyond the benefits stated above.

  • Ego. You saw that coming. But we don't need to always demonize our egos. Everyone has one and our egos can help motivate us to try new things and desire goal obtainment. Yoga arm balances are challenging, dynamic, and difficult postures. The ability to pull them off feels good. That's really okay.
  • The need to challenge ourselves. It is a need for many of us. We want to see what we're capable of. Arm balances and inversions represent a challenge. They help us face our fears. They give us a sense of power over our bodies and control.
  • The feeling we take with us after our practice. Trying new things has long-lasting effects. Being exposed to poses we've never tried is exciting and opens our minds to the vastness of a yoga practice. Overcoming obstacles is vital. And knowing we can do it is key.

The most important takeaway is knowing what we value and why. If this is a practice that's important to you, stick with it. Seek out instructors who are experienced in teaching arm balances and be willing to change your approach. Remember the quote, "Practice and all is coming." ~Sri K Pattabhi Jois