Lifestyle Magazine

Yoga from the Heart for a New Year – Clever Yoga with Misha

By Linsibrownson @CleverSpark

Remember how great we all thought Seinfeld was like fifteen years ago? Have you watched it recently? It’s not so super funny anymore and I think I know why – we’re all immune to snarkiness and sarcasm now. We’ve been completely inundated with it. You can’t read a magazine, watch the news or talk to your friend anymore without a defcon three level of snark. I bet we could make a crazy drinking game out of checking facebook pages for snark (everytime there’s a someecard, you must chug!) and Twitter has yet to have even one non-sarcastic tweet like at all, period, ever.

I’m kind of over it, guys. It’s kind of exhausting.

Clever Yoga Orange County

Here’s my higher thought for the new year – Authenticity and sincerity are far more important qualities to display than a black belt in sarcastic banter. The next time you have the opportunity to crack wise, see what a genuine – perhaps even empathetic – comment does instead. Open your heart to others and see where it gets you. I’m betting you’ll find your relationships to be more satisfying and your days less stressful. Just breathe and be YOU instead of reacting with mockery – it’ll be an interesting experiment, if nothing else. And hey, if it doesn’t work, I’ll go ahead and invent that facebook drinking game and we can experiment with that instead.

In the mean time, let’s practice incorporating our yoga into our new found openheartedness. These chest openers will have you feeling calmer, standing up straighter and ready to accept the blessings that come with living a more authentic life. Really.

Let’s start with Camel. An easy backbend, Camel is great for everything from relieving backaches to soothing ladycramps. To begin, just kneel, keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor, draw yourself up tall and bend back. You can start off with your hands on your  butt or you can progress all the way to having your hands on your heels. Hang out here breathing and focusing on the chest expansion you’re feeling. Return to upright after five to ten breaths and counter with a child’s pose.

Clever Yoga Orange County

Clever Yoga Orange County

Another good heart opener is the head to knee twist pose. It’s got all the chest opening, shoulder stretching benefits and the added digestive help of a twist.

You begin sitting wide legged on the floor (or a fountain, if you’re into outdoor yoga like me) and tuck the heel of one foot as close to the crotch as possible. Raise your hand up and reach up and over your head, rotating your torso back if you can. If you get all the way over, you can grab your foot, but if your flexibility only allows you to go halfway, that’s fine, too. You’ll still be able to feel a ton of side stretching and you can probably twist your torso a bit as well. Again, stay here for five to ten breaths, then switch and repeat on the other side.

Clever Yoga Orange County

If you’re ready to test your strength while opening your heart, go for half moon pose. It involves just about every muscle group you’ve got and when you can finally let go and trust yourself to do this pose, it kind of feels amazing, like flying or laying on a cloud, maybe.

Start in Triangle pose, and then walk your on-the-floor hand out about 12″. Re-center your balance and slowly begin to lift your back foot – go ahead and use your front hand for balance. You’ll feel the rising leg almost start to float. When that happens, rotate your torso toward the sky, opening up to the sun. If you’re so inclined, you can change your focus point and look at the sky as well – for whatever reason,  I have the hardest time changing my focus point in this pose and so I usually keep on keepin’ on in that respect. You can keep your hand on the floor or if you feel like it, raise it palm upward and balance completely on just your leg. I’m telling you, when you trust yourself to do this it feels like flying.

Clever Yoga Orange County

I hope these heart openers help you in your journey of a new year. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the poses and on the Authenticity-is-the-new-snark thought.

Leave your thoughts in the comments, or Instagram a photo with the hashtag #CleverYoga. Remember – you can practice your yoga anywhere – and I do mean anywhere.



Clever Yoga Orange County

PS Please don’t illegally practice your yoga on the top of a train, and if you do, I am SO not responsible for the consequences.

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