Stacey Millner-Collins

YOGA MINUTES | Alignment

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about alignment

During yoga a commonly practiced vinyasa or flow, is moving from downward facing dog to cobra pose. Since we practice this transition so frequently it is important to align the upper body to avoid straining or injuring your shoulders. Alma is here to demonstrate the proper alignment. Beginning in down dog, make sure your stance is long enough, so that when you move to plank pose your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your body is parallel to the floor. Your hands are shoulder distance apart.

YOGA MINUTES | Good Posture

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about good posture

How many times have you felt discomfort or tension across your upper back or neck. Unfortunately, this is becoming more common, as we spend time at our computers or on our phones. When we allow our head and shoulders to drop forward the muscles of the upper back misaligned and have to work harder than necessary. Good shoulder alignment can go a long way to relieving this tension and preventing future injury. Let's practice. First take a deep breath and lengthen your waist, press your head back and align your ears over your shoulders.

YOGA MINUTES | Healthy Spine

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about having a healthy spine

Recently several studies have been published stating that sitting, is the new smoking. Emphasizing that each of us needs to sit less and move more. Taking a movement break every thirty minutes will improve health problems like high blood pressure and also help with lower back pain. Your lower back is moved by your leg, so learning goodalignment for your spine begins with standing. So let's practice mountian pose. Please bring your feet parallel beneath your hips and make the muscles of your legs stronger. Push the tops of your thighs backward and then pull down through your tailbone.

YOGA MINUTES | Standing Poses

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Standing Poses talks about Standing Poses

If you have been in a yoga class, you soon realize that standing poses are the most fundamental postures. Standing poses create awareness and range of motion throughout the body by building general strength and mobility. Also learning to root and ground your legs in a proper stance, helps us to feel balance and feel more settled. Alma is here, to show us a proper stance in a wide legged pose. Begin a mountain pose and then lift your arms to shoulder height. Now step your feet apart as wide as your wrists and bring your feet parallel.

YOGA MINUTES | Balanced Action

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about Balanced Action

Pause for a moment to feel the beat of your heart. The in and out of your breath. Everything in our world is in relationship with another complementary force. Think of up and down, back and front, night and day. One helps us to know the other more fully. So within a yoga pose, we seekto balance the actions of contraction and expansion. A contracting force draws inwardcreating stability and strength. It also provides a boundary to open out against. As we expand outward againstcontraction, we can feel more balanced. So let's try it. Lift your arm and tone your muscles.

YOGA MINUTES | Mindfulness

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about mindfulness

The word mindfulness, is used more and more frequently in conversation these days. What does mindfulness mean and how do we practice it? Simply stated, mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment without judgment, being kind and compassionate to ourselves. Practicing mindfulness meditation is just as straight forward. Take a seat in a chair or on the floor. Sit well so your spine is long and your upper arms hang next to your torso. Pause for a moment. Relax. Now draw attention to your breath flowing in and out. And keep your mind on your breath.

YOGA MINUTES | Hand Gestures

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about hand gestures

Sometimes the smallest gesture can be the most profound. At the beginning and the end of each yoga practice we join our hands in front of our hearts. Why? This particular mudra or hand gesture, called Anjali, means to make an offer. At the beginning of the practice, it provides a moment of quiet reflection to set the intention for our practice. This infuses the practice with the deeper meaning and encourages us to connect with our hearts more fully. We close each practice with gratitude for what we have received from our teachers for our bodies.

YOGA MINUTES | Breath During Practice

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins talks about Breath During Practice

A common question, often asked by students beginning yoga is, how should I breathe when I practice. First simply keep breathing. Try not to hold your breath during a pose or while moving between them and generally, when you expand your body, like raising your arms overhead, you inhale and when you contract like folding forward you exhale. Breath steadily through your nose and hold a posture for about six to eight breathes or around thirty seconds. Also during more intense postures or for those poses you hold for a longer time.

YOGA MINUTES | Breath

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Breath

One of the simplest ways to quiet an agitated mind or unsettled heart, is to simply breathe. The breath is the primary vehicle of our vital life force energy, which is called prana in Sanskrit. In addition to animating our body, prana is also intimately intertwined with our mind. In yoga pranayama is a set of breathing practices designed to expand this life force and to bring mental clarity. Pay attention to your natural breath notice the rise an the fall of each inhalation and exhalation.

YOGA MINUTES | What is Yoga?

By Stacey Millner-Collins

Stacey Millner-Collins

What is yoga? Yoga has become so popular here in the west and it is worth our time to understand the meaning of the word more fully. Yoga originated in ancient India. The actual word "Yoga," means to bring into union or to yoke, to unite, to connect. Therefore, yoga is the union between the self and the spirit. Between our body and our mind. It is most commonly understood, as a set of practices: focused breathing, movement of the physical body and opposes, simple meditation. Leading to overall health relaxation and a sense of inner peace. These practices help to reduce our stress.