Hi, I’m Bettina. What I'm working on : Forget to slouch. Relaxing is freedom. Choose life.

Articles in “Active Hands Yoga TV”

Changes

You Only Live Once In Neon

I have something to say today.

I try not to get too personal here, because I want this space to be useful for readers.

So it’s difficult for me to tell me what changes I’m living out right now.

Watch the video below to find out.

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As I said in the video, if you want to follow my evolution as I journey around half the world, visit me at my personal blog under my own name here : http://bettinashzu.com/category/blog.

While I’m traveling I’ll be updating this blog less frequently, but I’ll be visiting yoga ashrams, temples related to yoga, as well as studying yoga in India. So stay tuned for news about yoga abroad!

One last thing, I’m now looking for new and better ways I can help you live a sweeter, more relaxed life. Can you do me a favor and fill out a short survey? Your feedback will help shape what I share with you next.

Here’s the survey link:

Click here to take survey

Thanks so much!

 

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Photo found on tumblr (site no longer up)

How to easily bring Mobility to your Ankles

Very Fashionable Ankles in Heels and Hose

 

No one thinks about their ankles unless they have pain there. It’s funny that people love working on their abs, their butts, their arms, or whatever else you can show off, but no one really thinks about the ankle at all, much less working it…until it’s been hurt.

As your PSA today, I’m going to tell you that your ankle is critical to the health of the rest of your body. Your ankle supports 1.5 times your body weight when you walk.  When you run, your ankle supports eight times your body weight. If your ankle is weak, then you may experience knee, hip and back pain.

Watch the video below to learn one very simple, easy, and quick way to increase mobility to your ankles.

 

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Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation.

 

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Photo by New York Times

My Gratitude for Yoga Teachers

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - One-Legged King Pigeon Pose I

 

Even though I practice yoga mostly at home and strongly support my students to do so, we all need a yoga teacher.

We all tend to get used to a certain habit of doing things that may or may not serve our bodies.

Maybe this way of doing things once served us, but it no longer does, like an old sweater we’ve loved to death and is now coming apart at the seams, too small, and no longer represents our true style.

It takes an outside perspective to challenge us on our habits. For your yoga practice, this is your teacher–someone who watches you with no judgment and only wants you to try another, and perhaps better, way.

Watch the video below to learn what habit I’ve had for the last TWELVE years of my yoga practice that I recently learned to see with new eyes, thanks to a discerning yoga teacher.

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ACTION STEPS TO FIND YOUR OWN YOGA BLIND SPOTS :

1. Bring your attention to all parts of your body after you practice. Notice where you may still feel tight or somehow stuck.

2. In your next yoga class, ask your yoga teacher to give you feedback about this part of your practice.

For example, if your wrists hurt, are your hands not aligned every time you come into downward-facing dog?

Your teachers’ outside perspective can help you unlearn habits that don’t serve you (anymore).

Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation!

 

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Photo by David Martinez via Yoga Journal

 

How to Dress for Yoga Class during your Work Lunch Break

Fashion Yoga Pose

 

As comfortable as yoga pants can be, maybe you don’t want to wear them to work–at the very least, you don’t want your co-workers to be able to check out your yoga butt, right?

So if you go to yoga before, after, or in the middle of your work day, you’ve probably wondered how to integrate your yoga clothes and your work clothes.

Unless you work for a very young start-up or are an artist, where you can wear whatever you want.

Watch the video below to see how I integrate my yoga clothes into my work outfit.

 

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What do you wear to yoga class when you’ve got to look professional too?

 

Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation.

 

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Photo by Vogue Italy

How to Transform your Tongue into an Air Conditioner

Tree Lung Breathing

It’s summer in Berlin, even though the weather isn’t quite hot here yet.

Nonetheless, when the heat does turn on, sweating through a yoga class could feel like heating your body too much.

To address overheating, two yogic breathing / pranayama techniques called sitali and sitkari use your breathing to cool your body down. Not only do these two breathing / pranayama techniques cool your body down physically, they also cool down any heated emotions you may have, like anger or resentment. They both calm the mind, cool the body, and lower blood pressure.

The first breathing / pranayama technique sitali asks you to sip air through your rolled-up tongue. If you can’t roll up your tongue like a straw, the second breathing / pranayama technique sitkari is when you suck air through your teeth.

Watch the video below to see how to practice these two cooling breaths.

 

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ACTION STEP : The next time you feel overheated either physically or emtionally, try a few rounds of sitali or sitkari breaths as I show you in the video above.

If you feel light-headed, dizzy, or in any way uncomfortable during these breaths, stop and breathe normally for several rounds. Begin again when you’re ready.

 

Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation!

 

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Photo by Jamesdguy

Artists, need some inspiration? Here are some yoga poses to enhance creativity

 

I’ve been meeting lots of artists and entrepreneurs lately, creative people who work with ideas all the time. So I made a video showing you how to get inspired with yoga.

Even if you’re a beginner or new to yoga, you can do these postures because the inversions are supported.

 

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ACTION STEP : Try at least one of these yoga poses the next time you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated. Nothing gets the brain moving faster than getting the blood going.

If you loved this video, you’re going to love my upcoming beginner yoga class starting on Monday, May 14. Go here for more information:  http://activehandsyoga.com/classes/6-week-beginner-yoga-class-series/

Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation!

 

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Yogis Talk Radio Show : Erinbell Fanore

Yoga DVD

Like many other entrepreneurs, we yoga teachers get together to share business and life stories. When I met Erinbell Fanore, a fellow yoga teacher in Berlin teaching hatha and yin yoga, at one of these casual get-togethers, I was most impressed that she made her own yoga DVD on the sunny island of Malta. She talked about it like it was easy to pull off, so I had to ask how how she did it with such ease as one of my Yogis of the Month.

Even if you don’t want to make your own yoga DVD, listening to how simple and easy it is to tackle a big project once you break down into steps and ask for help is helpful for any project. You would imagine that producing a DVD would take months to do, right? But knowing that Erinbell produced hers in just two weeks completely changed my mindset of what’s possible. And expanding possibilities is always a good thing.

Listen to my interview* above with Erinbell (or download it!) to find out about:

  • her introduction to yoga through…Cindy Crawford in the desert?!
  • retraining your muscles through two somatics exercises she shares
  • where to find out more about somatics (ok, here’s a link for you : Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health)
  • how she produced her DVD on Malta
  • how she makes yoga videos more than just instructional but also cinematic (see one below!)

 

 

If you want to produce your own yoga DVD in two weeks, here are your ACTION STEPS:

  1. Figure out your lesson plan and write it down into a script.
  2. Record the script with a live model.
  3. Find a wonderful location like Malta.
  4. Play the recording of the script and follow it.
  5. Edit the visuals to match the script voiceover.
  6. Put it on a DVD.
  7. Extras : get a cover designed.
  8. Now sell it at your classes, workshops, and online

Interested in finding out more about Erinbell? You can order her yoga DVD and watch her free street yoga videos on her website.

* My sound quality is improving now that I’ve bought the Zoom H2 to use as a microphone, but I’m still learning how to work with it.

 

 

 

 

Photo & Video above from Erinbell Fanore

How to practice Morning Yoga when you just don’t want to get out of Bed

 

I love sleeping in under warm blankets when the air is cold outside. I love yoga. What’s better than doing yoga in your bed when you wake up in the morning?

Try this gentle stretching yoga routine and see if that helps you get out of bed on the right foot tomorrow morning.

 

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Let me know if you have any requests for a short yoga routine and/or questions about yoga or meditation!

 

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How to Relieve Headaches with Yoga

 

I hardly ever get headaches, but some good friends suffer from headaches pretty regularly.

If you do too, please watch the video below to find out what you can do to relieve the pressure in your head that comes with headaches.

 

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Let me know if you have any other questions about yoga or meditation or any other problems you have may that could be solved by yoga!

 

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How to Not Fall Over in Mermaid Pose

 

Recently I made a custom yoga video for a vegan chocolatier so that she could get in 30 minutes of yoga whenever she gets a chance rather than going to a scheduled class. I designed the yoga practice to challenge her and address her needs, and so she had a question about one of the yoga poses that challenged her : How can she keep her balance in mermaid pose?

If you’re curious too, watch the video below to find out. Even if you’re not interested in mermaid pose, the 3 tips I share in the will help you with pigeon pose and its variations.

Plus, I got some great compliments on my gold leggings–watch them in action!

 

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Let me know if you have any other questions about yoga or meditation or if you want a personalized yoga practice on video!

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga