The shoulder is an unforgiving joint. It’s ball and socket structure is extremely mobile, and relies on muscles, tendons and ligaments to provide support. If one of those structures isn't properly supported, another will pick up the slack, increasing the risk of pain and injury. The four rotator cuff muscles are important for shoulder health. While this is true, you can't forget about the muscles that move your scapulae (shoulder blades), which provide stability for your shoulder joints. If the shoulder blade itself isn't stable, all the muscles that activate shoulder motion will be compromised and put you at a greater risk for injury. The greater stability you have in and around the shoulder blade, the better the shoulder muscles can work and activate, reducing the risk of injury in any of the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the shoulder joint. This is especially important if you lift heavy weights, play a throwing or swinging sport/position, or you're a swimmer.
This modified version of Plank is one of the most beneficial poses you can do to stabilize your shoulders. In addition, Plank will also strengthen your core and bone strength in your forearms and wrists. Your abdominal muscles will be engaged more than if Plank is performed simply on your hands alone, in which you hold your body at a higher angle.
Benefits of Forearm Plank:
Lie prone on your mat. In the beginning after an injury, start with doing the pose standing at a wall.
Spread your legs about hip-width apart. Place your forearms on the floor/wall- elbows directly under your shoulders. Flex your feet and tuck your toes under so the balls of your feet press into the floor. Contract your glutes and legs and lift your hips and thighs off the floor. At the wall, you will need to walk farther away from the wall until your shoulders are at a right angle to your upper arms and try to keep your feet flat on the floor.
Tighten your abdominals, looking at the floor/wall to align your neck and keep your back straight. Press your forearms into the floor and push through your upper back to keep from collapsing into your shoulders.
Avoid raising your hips up too high or letting them sag to the floor; your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
Breathe normally and hold this position for as long as you can. If you feel pain or can't maintain correct form, lower yourself to your knees and relax your muscles in child’s pose.
Be careful that your core is continually engaged.
If you have shoulder or neck injuries use a bolster under your chest to support your torso or clasp your hands together instead of keeping the forearms parallel.
If you have a neck injury, support your forehead on a block or folded blanket.
For more on Neck & Shoulder pain poses, join me on June 16 from 1-3pm for my Yoga Therapy for Neck & Shoulder pain.
This week the angels would like us to focus on remembrance. As a fellow veteran, I want to take a moment to thank all of those fallen soldiers, veterans, and those still on active duty for their service. And, the many family members who supported them in service to our country. There are also countless earth angels who have given so much for us to learn, to grow, and to evolve. When I sat down to write this blog, Archangel Azrael was very present, wanting us to know most of all, that all of those lovely souls are happy, healthy, and within touching distance to us always. Most of them are actively engaged in a different kind of life purpose and service in spirit form. In my work, it is an honor to see them gainfully employed on the other side in duties that they have chosen for themselves. Many will return as our spirit guides or to our children or grandchildren. No matter what new job they may have, they are always close. Memorial Day is a great time to honor all who have impacted your life including your spiritual team who are present and steadfast in our lives. No matter what human folly we engage in, they are consistent teachers and supporters; always working with us in love.
Full Moon is Tuesday, May 29th at 7:19 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. If you are sensitive to moon energies, Archangel Haniel can help you with balance. If you want to spend time honoring those who have passed, Archangel Azrael can help bring them closer.
Friday, June 1st we begin a new month with a new focus and theme. June is Archangel Azrael with Counselor. Archangel Azrael is the Archangel of Soul Transitions helping those to move from the earthly plane to the spiritual one. He is also the ultimate counselor, helping those who are grieving as well as those who work in grief counseling, or counseling roles. This month you may be asked to support others experiencing grief as well as lending a listening and supportive ear to others. This month be like the stable Oak Tree providing shelter for friends, family, and community.
Have a great week everyone; I’m sending you good vibes!
We are at the tail end of Sunday's powerful full moon putting an exclamation point at the end of April. And, according to my friends at the PowerPath.com, "the equivalent of an eclipse." Now is a powerful time to do some letting go and releasing with Archangel Michael. This month's focus archangel of the month is Archangel Sandalphon with, gentleness. This month, Archangel Sandalphon would like us to rediscover ease in the way we go about our daily lives. Some may call this grace and that true, but's it's also about being aware of how you approach your life. According to the Free Dictionary.com, gentleness is both a quality and an action, "the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered, or softness of action or effect; lightness." Quality can be cultivated and how we act can be a decision. For this month it's all about you how you talk to yourself and others and how to cultivate that quality of gentleness in everything that you do. Just bringing your awareness to it will help. Even when we are empowered and powerful we can do so with a quality of gentleness.
This week the angels would like us to focus on grace and allowing that incredible energy of love to flow through you, lifting everything. Allow grace to lift your energy, your vision and all your interactions this week, then watch and experience the incredible flow. One of the most powerful ways that I know of to get back in touch with grace is through meditation and finding gratitude for at least one thing every day. Archangel Haniel is the archangel to call on when seeking that graceful energy and she is wonderful at helping us stay grounded in the process. Archangel Sandalphon is the archangel of answered prayers, music, and gentleness so don't be surprised this month if you have a lot of songs being played in your head. Don’t forget to look for messages in the music.
Please see my announcements below, Ladies Healing Day coming up on May 19th and also there’s a wonderful volunteer opportunity with Hospice at New Song.
Have a great week everyone, I'm sending you good vibes!
(This is from Susan Leahey who is a volunteer with New Song Center for Grieving Children and has been with this program for almost two years.)
Volunteer Opportunities with New Song Center for Grieving Children
New Song Center for Grieving Children, a program of Hospice of the Valley, offers confidential ongoing grief support groups for children ages 5-17, young adults ages 18-25 and adult caregivers. New Song is a volunteer-based organization that conducts support groups at six locations in Maricopa County. The Avondale location continues to grow and we are recruiting additional volunteer facilitators to meet the demand for our services in the West Valley. This support group meets from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. every other Tuesday evening at First Southern Baptist Church, 1001 N. Central Ave., Avondale 85323. Volunteers complete a 22-hour training program at Hospice of the Valley Administrative Offices, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix 85014.
The next 2018 training sessions are Saturday August 18 from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday August 20 and Thursday August 23 from 5:30-9:00 p.m., and Saturday August 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please visit www.newsongcenter.org to complete the New Song Center volunteer application or for more information. You can also contact the Volunteer Coordinator Gary Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 602-776-6803.
PEPPERMINT is one the oldest European herbs that was used therapeutically and historical accounts date back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Japanese folk medicine. In ancient Greece it was used in funerary rites to offset the smell of the body decomposition and in the Bible, mint along with other herbs was to be given as a tithe to the Lord demonstrating the value of its time. Its most widely discovery was in the 17th Century.
Peppermint Oil should be steam distilled from the plant’s leaves, and a multitude of therapeutic uses. Its well known for its anti-nausea benefits, soothing muscles, soothing the colon and gastric lining, and easing headaches. It has an intense aroma that gives a stimulating and invigorating sensation. It aids in giving the mind clarity and gives a cooling sensation on the body when applied. It has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Its chief compound, menthol has local anesthetic properties and reduces throat irritations. It is similar to cayenne pepper in that it stimulates heat sensors without actually changing the body temperature providing a cooling effect.
As you can see, Peppermint Essential Oil has a plethora of uses! And, Edna Valley Lavender only offers a highly therapeutic Organic Peppermint Essential Oil! We recommend daily putting 1 drop of our Organic Peppermint Oil in any of your favorite drinks, for aid of your digestive system and awesome flavor! Until next month, enjoy, experience and experiment this fantastic essential oil!
One of the reasons I love teaching children’s yoga and kids camp is because yoga at its core, is experiential.
The practice must be lived. Children animate just about everything. As a children’s yoga teacher you get the unique perspective of experiencing first hand the excitement in their faces while practicing asana and pranayama.
You watch fear dissolve, courage emerge and self confidence build over a matter of weeks. The transformation is almost immediate. The laughter is contagious. Seriousness is outlawed. Learning yoga through songs, games, role playing, and storytelling is captivating and fun.
When I teach, I can vividly see a younger version of myself in the children. The life lessons I wish I learned, I can now impart to them. In so many ways it’s a do over for me.
Worthy of note, when I teach adult classes, I do not get on the floor with the students. I walk around the room looking for alignment queues and points of reference. Yet with children, I am learning through the eyes of a child by experiencing yoga as a child does and it is invigorating, new and uplifting. This vocation has made me a better teacher and human being. In my opinion, there is no higher calling.
Dr. Julian Wyatt
Dr. Wyatt will be one of our Ignite Yoga Kids Summer Camp teachers!
Click here for more details about Kids Summer Camp and to reserve your spot early!
It seems every time we attend a yoga class, the teacher is offering postures to take you further into your range of motion, we see pictures on social media of hyper-mobile yoga students, and some teachers offer adjustments to push the body beyond its natural limits, to what end?
Does it serve our bodies now and in the future to put your foot behind your head, to do full splits, to sit in Lotus pose? Is there an anatomically functional reason for these extreme postures?
Some of these reasons may just be to please the teacher, the teacher suggests youcan move deeper into your range of motion, and you feel the teacher knows best, or perhaps you’re afraid of offending the teacher.
Our ego is a large contributor to injuries in our practice. We see the gumby-like lady on the mat next to us move into a deep backbend, splits, etc., and we feel we should be able move like that as well.
These hyper-mobile postures and those doing them are often glamourized in classes, magazines, television, and social media sites. But what you don’t see is the injuries now and in the future from going beyond our natural range of motion.
What we need to ask ourselves~ is there a functional reason for going deeper in a pose? We want to maintain flexibility in our hamstrings, quadriceps, and hips, but what is the functional purpose for pushing ourselves into the splits? We want open hips, but what is the functional purpose of padmasana (lotus pose)?
Are these postures going to create more strength in our bodies?
Excessive range of motion can create a greater liability to our structure than the benefits, so in other words, extreme motion can compromise our structure.
There is nothing wrong with trying new postures, some of us find some of the more extreme postures more easily accessible than others, but we must understand as students and as yoga teachers, that there is inherently a greater risk to these more extreme postures.
So next time you’re trying to push, pull, squeeze, or force your body into a particular posture, ask yourself ‘is there a functional reason for me to move this deeply into a pose’?
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with family and friends and that the weather (no matter where you live) was perfect for Easter Egg Hunting. April is here planting us firmly into Spring, and with the change in season we are also experiencing personal changes. This month’s focus Archangel is Archangel Azrael with “Hello from Heaven,” this is one of my favorite cards in the deck. Allow your awareness to include anything that grabs your attention. It will be signs, and messages from your loved ones in heaven including, the sensing a presence, hearing your name whispered, or you may even smell something that you associate with a certain loved one. Also, you may have a certain song that plays over and over in your head, animals that seem to be attracted to you, or finding coins, feathers, or gemstones. The messages are most often, there is an existence after this one, I am okay, happy, and healthy, I love you, and I am supporting your journey. I want you to be happy. I am in awe of how much energy and love our loved ones spend, sending us these messages over and over again.
Archangel Azrael is the Archangel of Soul Transitions helping people transition to the spiritual plane, helps those who are grieving, and healers who work with grief. Archangel Azrael can also help us connect with our loved ones and bring them close. If you want to work on mediumship skills, Archangel Azrael is a great teacher. I work with Archangel Azrael specifically when I’m doing mediumship work. His energy is very warm, loving, and comforting.
This week the angels would like us to focus on new beginnings. This can be an attitude, a new project, or a fresh perspective. We are now out of the deep self-reflection mode and into newness. Whew, that was a journey! What newness are you embracing this week?
Have a great week everyone, I'm sending you good vibes!
Carolan Dickinson provides psychic medium/angel card readings by appointment. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Its Okay, Its Just The Changing Moon
A lesson on how teaching kids self-love through Yoga is beneficial for developing brains
So, here we are in the Gibbous moon entering Virgo, and nearing the end of the waxing cycle. What this means is, the full moon is coming. Why is this important, and how does it pertain to teaching my kids yoga? Following the moon is helpful in giving us insight into our emotions, and our children’s emotions as well. If your child has been highly emotional lately if their expressive or more introverted and has been shut in there is going to be a break in the clouds soon. With the burgeoning moon on the horizon it will bring a release of emotions and break throughs. Now is the time to set intentions with your kiddos and yourself and set new goals with practicing self-love.
As practitioners, we know that Yoga teaches us self-love and self-belief. We must work through emotional and mental difficulties to progress, and our progress ebbs and flows like the ocean. It seems with each new accomplishment we stumble somewhere else in our practice- even if its in terms of taking Yoga off the mat. I firmly believe that the Yoga we practice off the mat is what matters the most in implementing our physical practice on the mat.
As parents, this can be tough when it comes to our growing children to find the balance. To incorporate good values and lessons in life while giving them a physical outlet to provide energy release through play. Why not try implementing life lessons in with your Yoga play?
Being a Kids Yoga Instructor through Ignite Yoga has it challenges. Some days all the kids are talking to you at once, and its hard to get your thoughts together. Some kids will decide they don’t want to participate that day, or there are tears, or it’s a highly emotional day and it’s a messy class. That’s okay if that’s what your own Yoga practice with your kids look like, and here’s why:
Neuroscientist Alex Korb, Ph. D states:
“As a neuroscientist, despite my initial incredulity, I came to realize that yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful. It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga's greatest neurobiological benefit.”
Imagine having this great secret you found that helps you with life and benefits you physically. You’ve read or heard that there is science behind the benefits, and you have personally been impacted by practicing this secret…why keep it to yourself? Share with your children. Sure, depending on the age and stage of development your child is in it may sound easier than done, but trust me not all kids in my Yoga classes want to be there. There parents signed them up and they are strictly abiding their parents wishes. However, even those that I know don’t want to be there I have experienced some magical moments of them learning something new or a laugh here and there when we make mistakes.
This is what motivates me to keep trying with my own kids, and with my kids’ classes. Even on tough days when it doesn’t seem like they are hearing anything I say. I know the benefits, the science, and have experienced it personally. Making waves by being who we and they are is fine, the moon does it all the time. If all kids did Yoga from a young age up it is my personal belief that there would be more healthy adults in life with powerful coping mechanisms and endless self-love that the world would be an even more amazing place to live and be in.
Keep Calm, and Yoga On.
Sheenya will be one of our Ignite Yoga Kids Summer Camp teachers!
Click here for more details about Kids Summer Camp and to reserve your spot early!
First of all, Essential Oils don’t act like “oils” as the name would indicate. Let’s first discuss the other more common oils a bit. That family of oils is called “fixed oils”. They are non-volatile, meaning they don’t evaporate into the air. They can be of animal or plant origin and mostly used in the kitchen for cooking such as olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil. If one puts any of these oils on the skin, it will look “greasy” or “oily” and slowly be absorbed into the skin. These oils are used to enhance Essential Oils and are also known as “Carrier oils”.
Essential Oils on the other hand, are volatile oils, meaning they evaporate quickly and pass easily into the body through the skin and its membranes. Their “volatility” is what makes the oils aromatic, therefore used in aromatherapy – their molecules are released as vapor into the air and this is what carries the essential oil’s scent. Hence, the powerful function of these oils! When these oils are applied to the skin, they move into the skin immediately and are NOT oily at all! When inhaled, they are extremely potent and pass through the mucous membranes to the brain, usually within seconds. One can begin to understand why and how they are so effective.
Essential Oils are obtained from plants such as flowers, leaves, roots, bark and peels. They are extracted from the plant typically using steam distillation. We will discuss distraction methods at another time. It is key that the oils not be extracted using chemicals, otherwise this will greatly affect the quality of the essential oils.
Their properties are known to induce actions of their natural tendency, being that which is “essential” or “necessary”. Their name, which comes from the word “quintessential”, means the embodiment or possession of the essence of something. These amazing liquids are drawn from the very essence of the plant that gives life, protection, healing, immunity a sense of connection with our emotions and spirit! Now we begin to get a picture of what these tiny, but powerful molecules do!
Do you ever wake up with a Stiff Neck or Suffer from Chronic Shoulder Pain?
If your neck is chronically tense and tight, and if the muscles in your upper back and shoulders often feel as hard as a rock, you’re not alone. We live in a high stress world filled with financial pressures, terror alerts and devastating natural disasters. Add to this emotional tension, the postural stress of spending most of our days sitting in front of the computer or driving in traffic, that rounds our bodies forward resulting in neck and shoulder pain.
Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
Rabbit Pose lengthens your spine and stretches your back, arms, and shoulders while stimulating your immune and endocrine systems. It stimulates the inter-vertebral disks and helps to maintain the spongy nature of the disks which helps them absorb shock from daily movement to prevent back pain.
Cow Face pose significantly increases range of motion in your shoulder joints.
Eagle pose opens shoulder joints, creating space between your shoulder blades. It also offers wonderful holistic benefits by stimulating the immune system, encouraging balance and aligning the chakras.
The image shown is for the full pose, which is a great pose to test your balance. However just using your arms of the pose is specifically for the shoulders.
Thread the Needle pose stretches your shoulders, arms, upper back and neck, releasing tension and alleviating neck and shoulder pain. Performed daily it also increases spinal mobility, relaxes the body and calms the mind.
Evon will be offering weekly Yoga Therapy classes at Ignite, on Tuesdays at 4:30pm (May 1st - May 22nd).
Evon also offers private yoga therapy sessions.
At Ignite Yoga, we believe that yoga is for everyone–For people of all ages and all walks of life.