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

Articles in “Yoga Solutions”

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.

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

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but it no longer does, like an old sweater we’ve loved to death and is now coming apart at the seams, too small, and no longer represents our true style.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!

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

Photo by David Martinez via Yoga Journal

 

Yogis Talk Radio Show : Monica Bloom of Hey Monica Bloom

 

Vata Pitta Kapha Ayurvedic Lotuses

 

Have you ever heard of Ayurveda? It’s a sister science to yoga whose name literally means “knowledge of life.”

Ayurveda is now used mainly as a holistic healing method, whose overarching goal is staying in balance with the nature around us and with our inner nature.

According to Ayurveda, nature and we are all made up of different combinations of five elements–earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Our internal combinations of the elements determine what energy rules our body and mind. These energies are called doshas, of which there are three : vata, pitta, and kapha.

Ayurveda Is all about You

Since these doshas affect our personality and our health, knowing your dosha would help you know what food, exercise, working environment, schedule and so on would give you the best physical, mental, and emotional health.

For example, if your dominant dosha is fiery and sharp pitta, then you need to calm and cool down to balance it out.

On the other hand, if your dominant dosha is energetic and scattered vata, then you need structure and grounding to remain balanced.

If you’re slow and steady like an elephant, as a kapha you need get moving and eat light foods.

 

Monica Bloom of Hey Monica B

 

To learn more about Ayurveda, listen to my interview below (or download it) with Ayurvedic consultant Monica Bloom of Hey Monica B to find out:

  • what doshas are, Ayurvedically speaking
  • how to figure out your or other people’s dosha through what you/they look like
  • how to identify other people’s dosha through their emails in less than five minutes
  • the best way to communicate as a yoga teacher with each dosha type to address their learning styles

 

Want to learn more about Ayurveda? Here are your ACTION STEPS:

  1. Find out what your dosha type is by taking Monica’s dosha test.
  2. As Monica mentioned, summer is pitta season. Find out more about how to stay cool in the summer in her free magazine Seasonal Bloom for Pitta. This also applies to pitta people.
  3. If you’re a kapha, check out her Seasonal Bloom for Kapha.
  4. If you’re a vata or know a vata, download the comprehensive guide to vatas.
  5. Learn more about ayurveda through Monica’s radio show archives.

 

Do you have any specific questions for Monica? Then get in touch with her through her website and blog Hey Monica B. She loves hearing your feedback!

 

As for me, I’m curious–what dosha are you?

I’m definitely a pitta and still figuring out if I have some vata or kapha in me…if you know me, what dosha do you think I am?

Let me know in the comments below please!

 

 

 

 

Photo and illustrations by Monica Bloom

Free Pop-Up Yoga Class at the San Francisco Airport Yoga Lounge

New York Times Yoga Airport

 

So I’ll be transiting through the San Francisco airport–SFO–for about 8 hours on Wednesday, July 11.

It’s about enough time to pop out to the city for a meal, but not much else.

 

SFO Airport Yoga Room

 

Thankfully, SFO recently opened a yoga room (see above), so I’ll be checking it out and doing my own practice there. It looks a bit corporate, but there seems to be free yoga mats.

If you join me in July, I’ll lead a free yoga class or private for you…provided that you follow the yoga room etiquette below. Get in touch with me to let me know.

SFO Airport Yoga Room Etiquette

 

How do you relax when you travel? Share your tips with me in the comments below.

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from top to bottom by Ben Garvin for the New York Times, YogaDork, Larah of the Pollen Path

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.

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

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!

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

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!

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

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!

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

 

 

 

 

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