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

Articles tagged “howto”

3 Tools to Stop Worrying


How many times a day do you find yourself doing the following?

  • obsessively worry
  • hit up sugar
  • reach for a cocktail
  • vent on your partner or friend
  • compulsively shop
  •  pin mindlessly on Pinterest
  • watch too much TV
  • fill in the blank with your favorite way to soothe yourself to avoid your real fears?

Usually to stop one of these obsessive and unproductive behaviors, I turn to yoga and yoga nidra to bring myself back to the present moment.

Photographer and coach Catherine Just shared another way to stop worrying (hap tip to Helen Hunter McKenzie‘s Cause Effect) :

photographing your feet.

Let the act of seeing your feet bring you back to your body.

Let the act of photographing your feet remind you that you are not your thoughts or your actions.

I love Catherine’s idea for a few reasons.

First, it’s creative. Worry is anything but creative. By being creative, you’re no longer in worry mode. You’ve replaced it with expressing yourself.

Second, by photographing your feet every time you worry, you’ll have a physical reminder of all the times you were able to set worries aside and move on to something productive.

Third, it can be a project. Make a journal of your worry photographs either printed on your wall or online so that you can see not only your feet change over time but also your frequency of worries.

So here are my three tools to stop worrying : yoga, yoga nidra, and photographing your feet.

How often do you worry? And what do you do to stop worrying?






Photos by Catherine Just, used with permission.

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

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




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!


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





Arm and Back Stretches

Because the last two stretching videos require that you move from your desk, this week I show you some arm stretches you can do sitting at your desk, in the subway, at the cafe waiting for your coffee, even standing in line.

Again, if you have any kind of pain, stretching may not help. Please go seek professional help, like a doctor, holistic or otherwise.

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ACTION STEP: Set your timer until your next 5-minute work break. When the timer goes off, try these exercises. (If you’re wondering why I ask you to set a timer–have you ever done any kind of exercise without scheduling it in? Scheduling in breaks where you stretch is part of the solution!) Stay as long in the stretch as it feels good to do so, breathing slowly and evenly.

Do this every day for one week, and let me know if you notice any difference.

Any other questions about yoga, meditation, or healthy living keep you up at night?

Let me know and I’ll answer you in next Thursday’s Q and A.



What does meditation have to do with yoga?

It’s been busy for me; I just returned from Paris after taking an in-depth yoga workshop and I am preparing to go to Zurich in early July for another one. Amidst all this high-level yoga, I got a question that brought me back to the foundations of yoga : What does meditation have to do with yoga? Or, better, what does yoga have to do with meditation?

Watch my video below to find out! (Sorry about the leave; my balcony is overflowing with growing plants right now.)

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ACTION STEP: Decide if you’d like your yoga practice to be more than just good health, good muscles, and good bones. It is totally ok if that is all you want from yoga. But if you want your practice to include the mental benefits I described in the video, consider including meditation in your practice.

For extra credit, check out this cute illustrated guide to why meditation is good for you (link no longer works as of June 9, 2012) –the first one about being chilled out and happier works for me!

In the comments, share what you want from yoga.

If you’ve got any questions about yoga, meditation, healthy living, let me know and I’ll answer you in next Thursday’s Q and A video.



Want to know how to have a FIERCE meditation practice?

Have you heard about the benefits of meditation but don’t know where to start?

Check out my video below to know my simple do-anywhere meditation prescription as well as the mindset to have that will make it easier on you to keep meditating.

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ACTION STEP: Meditate right now! Yes, right after you finish reading this sentence. I meant, the last sentence. Stop reading now and count one hundred of your breaths. Don’t come back until you’re done.

***For further study, listen to Mark Whitwell’s interview where he shares his 5 principles. From the homepage, scroll down and click on “Daily Call Schedule,” and then scroll down to click on “Past Calls Here.” On this page you’ll find a link to the recording–at last! On the same page are many great interviews with yoga teachers all over the world. But they won’t stay up forever, so listen to them NOW.***

In the comments below, tell me how you feel now after meditating. Notice any difference between now and before?

If you’ve got any questions about yoga, meditation, healthy living, let me know and I’ll answer you in next Thursday’s Q and A video.