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Yoga With Khush: Bunny Hops

Posted by Smita Kishore on

Yoga-with-khush-bunny-hops

Bunny Hops: prep for Handstand/Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Benefits

The Bunny Hop is an arm balance pose that requires arm strength, lots of core strength and balance. The key is to get in the air, even if it’s only a little bit to start with. And, the benefits are endless:

  • Helps warm up your body faster
  • Prepares you for handstand
  • Focuses on the basics of arm balance, which is a key to alignment
  • Uses lots of core muscles - Uddiyana and Mula Bandha

Why I Love It

It takes me back to my childhood when I was not scared to hop anywhere! Bunny Hop is definitely an advanced pose that prepares us for Handstand, but that doesn’t mean only advanced practitioners can practice it. It is a prep pose for a reason! It helps beginners to overcome their fears and just have fun with it.

Conflict

Let go of your ego when all you want to do in your yoga class is a HANDSTAND by pushing your body way beyond its limit and not working within your mind and body alignment. For some reason, there is this belief that if you can do handstand/headstand/or any upside down pose, you would be a bonafide Yogi. Why? Don’t do it to compare yourself to others. Do it only to bring strength to your own body. Everyone’s BODY is different in terms of its basic bone structure. For some people, a lot of poses are easier and quicker to achieve as opposed to others. There is no shame in that. As you practice this- I want you to just trust yourself and learn slowly by working with alignment and mindfulness.

Khush’s Tips

To be very honest, I did not believe in myself the first time I was told to hop in a yoga class. I was so scared to do it and I just laughed at myself for being that scared :) Here are some tips to help get you started:  

  • Hop + Flow. Try to incorporate hops between your flows so that your body is warm and open. After every downward dog, bring your feet close to the top of the mat so that your hips are over your shoulders, and then take 3 hops.
  • Make an "L." As you hop, try to make an “L” with your legs. One leg straight up in the air, and another one parallel to the long edge of the mat.
  • Don’t Bend Your Elbows as You Hop. Lots of people do this! I did it too.
  • Stay with the Breath. Inhale as you hop, Exhale as you land.
  • Be Mindful of Your Landing! Make sure your landing is soft otherwise you are hurting your joints. Soft landing means more strength and balance in the upper body.
  • Stay Rooted. Root your hands on the mat, especially your index finger and thumb.
  • Pay Attention to the power of your arms, shoulders, and back. Keep your forearms firm and parallel to each other.
  • Use your Muscles Wisely! Use your hips (glutes), quads and hamstrings - the same actions we imply in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stabilize your legs by using your thighs (internal rotation) to prevent you from moving sideways.
  • Wall Support. Use a wall if you need support around you. 
  • HAVE FUN WITH IT!!

In gratitude,

Khush

yoga-with-khush-bio-Khush-means "happy." I hope I can justify having this beautiful and happy name and bring a smile to your face every time we connect (virtual or in person). Who am I? I am one happy person who loves to learn and explore nature, go on long hikes with my dear husband, and just live life really simple. Good food is my true love and my husband is my inspiration. And Yoga is something that I go back to every day for my "moksha"- liberation and introspection. My Yoga journey started almost 8 years ago in India and it has only grown since then. I recently finished my 200hr RYT from Citizen Yoga, Metro Detroit and I am ready to share my practice with the world. My teaching style is focused on fun, alignment, building core, and being mindful of my students' (and that is my family right now :) needs and limitations. I think it's important to acknowledge that everyone is unique in their own special way and none of us have to have the same physical goals. My hope is that my students will learn to self-reflect and bring mindfulness to their practice. Oh, and asking questions and having fun should be a priority! That's what life is about 😊  

 

 

 

 

Like this pose? Try BAKASANA (CROW POSE) next!

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Yoga with Khush: Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Posted by Smita Kishore on

I'm thrilled to introduce Yoga with Khush, a monthly feature we will be running with my dear friend and fellow Yogi, Khush Dhaliwal! Read on to learn more about this month's pose :) 

Yoga-pose-of-the-month-the-crow-bakasana

Sanskrit Name: Bakasana ~ English Name: The Crow Pose 

Benefits

Bakasana is an arm balance pose that definitely looks either easier or scarier (depending on how you look at it) than what it is on the mat ;)

BODY: It strengthens our arm and core muscles, while also working on strengthening our wrists and stretching our upper back for more flexibility at the same time.

MIND: Lots of confidence and self-belief, at least it did that for me. When we look at Yoga, it is not just the physical that we should be focusing on. With every asana, comes the alignment between body, mind, and spirit. And it is this alignment that takes us to the next level and makes everything possible. 

Why I Love It

I can literally fly with this pose 😊I used to think my arms are weak but over the years, I figured that was just a misconception that my mind created. With the right practice, you can do ANYTHING!

Khush's Tips

The day I figured out this pose - I made two core changes to my practice of Bakasana: 

BODY: Heart forward and Gaze forward! You will not fall, and even if you do, it's going to be fun :) Come to your tippy toes as you lean forward, lift one foot at a time to start with. Remember: Lifting or not lifting your toes/legs does not define your strength! 

MIND: I believed in myself and slowly, with the right technique, I worked on my posture by taking one step at a time. "Mindful" practice is what matters the most. Listen to your body! It ain't lying. When you practice, take time to "self-reflect", "pause" and then "listen" to your body and work around that cycle. I promise you will grow. 

In Gratitude,

Khush :)

 

yoga-with-khush-bio-Khush-means "happy." I hope I can justify having this beautiful and happy name and bring a smile to your face every time we connect (virtual or in person). Who am I? I am one happy person who loves to learn and explore nature, go on long hikes with my dear husband, and just live life really simple. Good food is my true love and my husband is my inspiration. And Yoga is something that I go back to every day for my "moksha"- liberation and introspection. My Yoga journey started almost 8 years ago in India and it has only grown since then. I recently finished my 200hr RYT from Citizen Yoga, Metro Detroit and I am ready to share my practice with the world. My teaching style is focused on fun, alignment, building core, and being mindful of my students' (and that is my family right now :) needs and limitations. I think it's important to acknowledge that everyone is unique in their own special way and none of us have to have the same physical goals. My hope is that my students will learn to self-reflect and bring mindfulness to their practice. Oh, and asking questions and having fun should be a priority! That's what life is about 😊

 

Want more yoga? Try Bunny Hops next!

Read more →

What's Your Mission Statement?

Posted by Smita Kishore on

You don’t need a business to have a mission statement. And you certainly can’t create the life you dream without knowing what yours is. Just as mission statements help businesses to stay focused on their values, having a personal mission statement allows you to live up to what you hope to achieve, while providing something to check your actions against. 

For example, my personal mission statement is: 'To inspire others to follow their heart and shine their Light.' Not only does this make it easy for me to assess if my actions truly reflect this, it also helps remind me of my overall goal. I can't expect to teach others what I myself don't live. For me, this mission statement evolved and formed itself over the years through self-reflection and meditation. Here are some ways to help you discover and live yours :)

  • Know Your Happy Place. What brings you joy? What makes your heart smile? What makes you excited to get out of bed every morning? Discover the answer to these questions. Self-reflect. Explore new things. Step outside of your comfort zone and find what makes your heart sing!
  • Take Baby Steps. Once you discover what makes you happy, begin asking yourself this question daily: "What's one thing you can do to start living your mission statement today?" Remember we have to start at A to get to Z. Don't worry about how close you are to the finish line. Find the one thing you can do right now and start working towards it!
  • Know That It Will Be Fluid. Nothing needs to be set in stone. Know that as you change and grow, so will your personal mission. Allow it to grow and evolve as you do. Have fun and experiment until you find what resonates deeply with you. 
  • Dare to Believe in Yourself. Put yourself out there and go for it! Take that leap of faith. Know that if you follow your heart and live in alignment with what feels right to you, doors will open up for you in unforeseen ways. 
  • Be Realistic. There are going to be obstacles. There's no magical way around them. Learn to accept this and simply pivot your path whenever challenges arise. As Aman always says, "there are no problems, only solutions." ;)
  • Show Up Every Single Day. No matter what, show up for your dream. Keep finding the one thing you can do to work towards it and do it! Eventually, the seeds you have planted will bloom 🌷

Love + Light,

~Smita :)

What's your mission statement? We'd love to hear them in the comments below!

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Shift Your Perspective!

Posted by Smita Kishore on

Everything we feel and experience is a matter of perspective, of how we see the world and those around us. What we think and see, we are. So how do we shift our perspective to see the life we dream? Through awareness and practice. Here are some tips to help get you started :)

  • Flip the Script. Anytime you experience a negative thought or recognize a limiting belief, simply flip the script. Take that thought or belief and reverse it by looking at it from the opposite perspective. If we believe that we can't do something, then we can't. But if we take that belief and repeat the opposite to ourselves, believe it or not, the positive energy carries over, and we are more than likely to accomplish what we once thought we couldn't!
  • Go Slowly. We spend so much time rushing through life, trying to get everything done on our never-ending to-do lists, that it's more important than ever to take the time to pause and go slowly. This allows us to be more mindful and aware, and also helps us avoid falling into habitual thought patterns and behaviors. It allows us to process and respond, rather than react. We can't catch ourselves if we don't take the time to slow down and observe ;)

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

  • See What You Want to See. If you don't like what you see, change it! The truth is we see what we want to see, what we allow ourselves to think and believe. We have the power to transform that into anything we desire. Ask yourself what you want to see in your life today and focus on that. Visualize it. Feel it coming to life. What you focus on grows. If you see the glass as half full rather than half empty, it is!
  • Release Excuses. We are the only ones responsible for the way our life is. It's not the things that happen to us that create our life, but how we choose to respond to them. No matter how difficult the situations that arise in your life, remind yourself that you have control over one thing and one thing only: how you choose to perceive it and allow it to affect you. We may not be able to control external circumstances, but we can learn to control what happens inside of us. The power has always been in our hands. Remind yourself of this when the going gets tough.
  • Smile. When all else fails (because at times it will), pause and smile. Seriously. Just smile. Even if you have to fake it. Studies have found smiling triggers positive emotions in our brain. You'll be seeing and feeling positive in no time ;)

Love + Light,

~Smita :)

How can you shift your perspective today? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Be Water

Posted by Smita Kishore on

"Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee 

Water is the most adaptable substance in the world. And if you observe it closely, you might just learn the secrets to living a peaceful life. Here are some things we can learn from water:

  • Let Go! Water doesn't cling to anything. Not the containers it's stored in, or the rivers and oceans through which it flows. It simply goes wherever it’s taken without the need to be in control. Practice: The next time you find yourself in a tough situation, try letting go and allow yourself to be carried with the tide.  
  • Release Resistance. Water resists nothing. It accepts every state it's in. No matter how pleasant or unpleasant, water allows whatever comes to it to be. It's not fooled or swayed by what's happening on the surface for it knows that deep within it can only be what it already is. Practice: Allow yourself to fully experience whatever you are going through without needing it to be any different. Observe what happens as you take this approach. The results may surprise you ;)
  • Ebb + Flow. Water never moves in the same way, nor does it ever stop flowing. Sometimes it goes slowly. Sometimes it moves quickly. And, sometimes it gushes and trickles. Whatever it may be, water continues to flow. Practice: When you find yourself in a situation that's out of your control or difficult to deal with, picture yourself flowing as water would, going everywhere and embracing everything.
  • Be Equanimous. Water doesn't prefer one state over the other. It simply continues to be what it is at all times. Practice: Learn to be equanimous with all situations that arise in your life. Whether it's joy or sorrow, excitement or pain, know that every state you are in must eventually flow on. No matter what you're going through, remind yourself that it will pass, and allow what is to be.
  • Experience the Journey. Water never stops moving. It's journey never ends. Practice: Be like water and allow and experience all of life! Be with the journey, flow with it and know that wherever it takes you, how ever it takes you, one thing is certain: you will always remain what you truly are deep below the surface ;) 

Love + Light,

~Smita :) 

How can you be water today? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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