fitness for the mind, body and soul

Coptic Yogi

Asanas & Flow

Asana/Pose  

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When I was little, I would always go into headstand. That's how I watched T.V. I didn't know it was a pose, but it made whatever I was watching much more entertaining. Now, I like to go into headstand after a long day at work, surprisingly, to get the kinks out of my neck.  With legs rising, there's almost always a giggle if I teeter back and forth. Once legs are upright I begin to cross and bend my knees wrapping them in Eagle Pose or Garudasana. This is the full pose. 



































Garudasana legs I find to be ironically very comforting. It feels like you're wrapping  a blanket around your legs with your legs.  The important thing to do is to bend your knees. The more you bend, the easier it is to hook the foot. 

​ Yoga uses at least 100 poses or asanas (in Sanskrit) to measure the flexibility, strength and endurance of the body. The mind or mental reasoning is the tool for identifying when a pose hurts or feels good.  Becoming more intimate with yourself, sitting in a pose is like sitting with a knot, that helps measure your endurance.  An obvious sign of growth is when you can sit in a pose with comfort that before you may not have been able to include in your practice. To “practice becoming grounded through consistent earnest uninterrupted effort for a long period of time.” (Sutra 1.14) is the goal.  The most important thing to keep in mind is to value your worth with a pose regardless of how well it's executed and breathe. Breathing is what will sustain you in a pose and carry through to the next.


This is also not a level 1 pose. It's a combination of two, head stand and eagle. Head stand or Sirsasana in Sanskrit, is a pose that uses primarily the forearms to balance the weight of a fully extended body. Practitioners  clasp their hands together and position them to frame their head. With abs engaged, the weight is evenly distributed between the forearms as legs rise. 

However, you can also get into head stand bending in wide angled forward fold. If your legs allow and your head touches the floor, then you create a base with your arms by creating a table with 90 degree angled elbows. You then place your knees on your arm created platform, carefully extending each leg. 

Head Stand with Eagle Legs

Each Pose Serves A Purpose

Side Angle(Utthita Parsvakonasana) 
(oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna)
utthita = extended
parsva = side, flank
kona = angle

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Side Angle
One of benefits of Side Angle is that it opens the side body. What is the side body? Your  body moves in many different directions, forward and backward for example. It also can twist and extend upward, but it also moves from side to side. Each Yoga pose takes the direction your body moves into consideration. There are poses that open the side body for example, side angle. In this pose your feet or placed as if Warrior 2, one foot pointing towards the front of the mat, the other foot at an angle. One leg is straight and the other is bent with the knee at a 90 degree angle. One arm gently rests on the bent knee while the other is extended overhead. 

I enjoy this pose because I can feel it from the outside of the foot of my extended leg all the way to my fingers. In the pose my obliques the muscles often referred to as "love handles," are fully engaged as well as my rhomboids, the muscles between my shoulder blades. I squeeze between my shoulders to lift my back. When I breathe into the pose I elongate my spine and make sure not to sag on the side of my body closest to my bent knee. 
Blue berry poses
Just as a blueberry, one of nature's Super Fruits allows the body a multitude of vitamins and supplements, so does a distinct group of poses that work multiple parts of the body. These poses enjoy a super status because they for example, they not only work the abs, but they also open the side body and require balance. 
Many could qualify for this honor of being a "blue Berry" Pose, and here are a few featured below. 
  1. Warrior 3
    Warrior 3
    Works the Quads, Lower Back,, Core & Balance
  2. Side Angle
    Side Angle
    Works the side body, Quads and Inner Thighs
  3. Garland
    Garland
    works the back, inner thighs, and knees
  4. Half Moon
    Half Moon
    Works the core, quads and balance
Vinyasa Flow
"vinyasa" means to combine many poses into one flowing movement.
Ever noticed how in nature,  while watching the calming water on a lake how there's a natural curve of motion from the lowest to the highest arc of each wave? This is the concept of Vinyasa. It is a flow of varied poses that is often as fluid as running water. Just as watching the currents of a sea shore, the practice of vinyasa grants a calming yet revitalizing affect of which the basis is the breath. Each pose is attached to either an exhale, inhale or pause. 
Here are some videos for your at-home practice. They include a Surya Namskar, a warm up sequence, a flow for balance and a hip opener. Stay tuned for more videos.
​This video shows one of the basic warm ups shared at Coptic Yogi. It's something you can do at home. It incluldes tadasana or mountain pose, down ward facing dog and upward facing dog. If you're reluctant or apprehensive about starting a practice, view the video as an introduction. The more you practice the better you get. There are other demonstrations available on my You Tube Channel!!! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmzdiCverAXnxx-Zy39hoNA
Ayurveda & Yoga
Of  Sanskrit roots,  ayurveda focuses on not just what we eat, but how we eat it, for example the temperature of our food and the time of day in which we eat it. 
There are three distinct groups of people, each group with their own attributes and challenges. 
These three groups are called "doshas." The Ayurveda Experience website offers are an amazingly accurate assessment to aid in identifying a person's dosha. This is very helpful in planning for a healthier lifestyle. Your results are emailed to you and the site in general is extremely informative. Click above and discover your dosha!
Vitamins & Foods at a Glance
  • Kale and broccoli- Vitamin E
  • Peas and Pumpkin- Vitamin A
  • Ocre and bannanas-Potasium
  • Avocado-Vitamin K
  • Spinach and Asparagus- Iron
The Setting is Everything!
Presentation matters. Dinner ware, table ware and utensils can  make or break a meal!  And it doesn't always have to be a formal setting. I love to mix and match styles. No one has the same glass at our table! "Setting the Table," is a chance for you to creatively express yourself. 
And for the Coptic Yogi, what comes out the mouth is just as important......
It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean." Matthew 15:11

This is when silence is golden, when we are challenged to listen more and speak less. When we become aware of what comes in and out of our being, we become closer to achieving balanced  wellness.