What hot sauce can teach you about yoga

One of my favorite quick dinners is pasta with kale. Sounds a bit ordinary, pasta is an everyday kind of dish. But a few additions make it quite delicious and take it from boring to flavourful – lots of garlic, fresh grated parmesan cheese and hot sauce!

Sometimes your yoga routine starts to feel kind of ordinary. You may be doing the same set of poses everyday without much variation. I’m a big fan of repetition and of practicing one sequence for a while to really get to know it and feel the benefits. But when it gets to be boring, you don’t focus on the postures and you just kind of go through the motions.

One of the ways that I like to spice up my practice is with inversions. Headstand is a pose that I find challenging. I can almost do it (depending on the day). I think it is a combination of this uncertainty plus the freedom of doing something that seems a bit crazy that makes me love it. Viewing the world from a different perspective, literally turned upside down, is a great way shake things up a bit.

Some Benefits of Headstand

Headstand is considered to be the king of yoga poses because it has so many benefits.

· Reverse the actions of gravity on the body

· Gives the heart a break

· Helps promote good posture

· Tones and strengthens the upper body and core

· Helps relieve stress and mild depression

· Fun and challenging

There are ways you can practice headstand without going into the full pose. You will still challenge yourself and get all of the benefits. For example, you can use a wall for balance, lift one leg at a time or keep your knees bent and lift them only halfway up. If you are new to the pose, I would recommend working with a yoga teacher to get started safely with proper alignment. And if you are not up to headstand just yet, another favourite inversion of mine is wide angle forward bend (link).

I really like this video: Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Headstand with Michael Taylor from MindBodyGreen. Have a look for some good tips on headstand.

Adding something new to your regular yoga practice can really help keep it interesting and exciting. It challenges you both mentally physically.

How do you spice up your yoga practice?

Photo courtesy of lululemonathletica

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