Hips Don’t Lie: Yoga for Hip Health


The epicenter of the second chakra, hips are the seat of our emotions. The second chakra (Svadhisthana) is linked to sexuality, desire, the depth of feeling, and procreation. When the second chakra is blocked it hinders our ability to let go and let it flow. The blockage affects us in feeling emotionally cold, low energy, the inability to feel sexual desire.

When we work with the body, we are undoubtedly working with the mind. Then the energy system comes in as a bridge to connect the body and mind.

When emotions arise in the body, it charges energy that stores our deepest vulnerabilities in the hips. Whether work stress, financial worries or deep-rooted family issues, we may be holding negative energy in the hips. Our bodies are molded by our daily posture of sitting at ninety degree angles, therefore our hips tend to suffer postural strains.

In order to breakthrough and crumble away stuck energy, I make sure to include hip flexor and hip opener poses when I teach vinyasa and restorative yoga.

Releasing tension by unblocking the second chakra in our seated emotions may stir up emotions, which I find wonderful, because yoga brings awareness to your body that connects with your mind as it unlocks stale energy. Stretching out your hips can also help prevent lower back pain, or knee or hamstring injuries.

In Psychology Today, a research study identifies the body to store emotional pain in unlikely places.

FullSizeRender (2)

Earth Squat (Malasana)

This low earth squat allows the skeleton to relax and prevents compression on the sacrum, tailbone as well as the lower back.

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend your knees and lower your hips towards the floor into a squat. Bring your arms to the inside of your legs pressing out on the elbows pushing away your inner thighs, anchored below your knees. Press the palms of your hands together in prayer hands (anjali mudra). Relax your shoulders and lengthen your spine by intending the crown of your head  towards the ceiling. Slowly straighten your legs coming into standing forward bend to release your hips.


Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is fantastic for the hip flexors and stretching out your glutes. This pose is all about the hips, but can often prove difficult for some. Once you’re there, allow yourself to truly let go as the negative energy is released and your physical tension lets up through this deep hip opener.

To get the most out of Pigeon Pose, keep your hips square to the front of your mat. The back leg extends in line with the hip without sickling the ankle. Lengthen through the chest and spine and if your body allows it, feel free to move deeper, begin to fold the torso over the bent front leg. Bring awareness to your body to determine the difference  of feeling pain or being uncomfortable. If it’s anxiety you’re feeling, then stay in the pose and allow that which does not serve you to come up to the surface and fully release.

Hold each pose for five full, deep breath cycles.

There are a variety of yoga poses to breakthrough those stubborn hips.

  • Happy Baby Pose (inner thighs)
  • Reclined Bound Angle Pose (inner thighs)
  • Frog Pose (inner thighs)
  • Half Pigeon (outer thighs)
  • Low Lunge (hip flexors)

By loosening the hip joints through deep hip openers, the body signals the spine through nerve endings all the way to the brain telling it to stop releasing stress hormones. When hips are balanced you will feel more mobile and will likely have less pain, which leads to increased happiness and well-being. The best part of teaching private yoga is to work closely with the client as he/she takes time to move through a sequence of hip opening stretches. As the body gracefully manifests, it releases old energy, making room for fresh energy. The holistic yogic system was designed so that emotional breakthroughs can occur safely.


Listen to your body and discover where it needs to unravel an emotional knot.

When you don’t find time to make your way into a yoga class, make room at home for your mat, show yourself some love and give your hips a juicy flow that will give you freedom!




Recess Endurance Training with Restorative Yoga

Photo Credit: Reebok Experience Store Prague

While I nourish my need for sweating, focus, discipline and determination during my cardio, weight training & rigorous Asana practice. I have discovered a way to nurture the more energetic spiritual side of my nature through restorative yoga. Instead of trying to fit the idea of the “correct” alignment in squats, burners, and planks, restorative poses allow you to let go and sink into what feels right in the moment as your muscles enter a restorative phase. Maria G. Araneta, PhD, MPH, of University of California San Diego, designed a study to analyze a steady loss in fat in obese women from low intensity exercise than aerobic exercise, which has been known to increase heart rate, burn calories and fat. Their findings revealed the significance in restorative yoga practice to reduce levels of cortisol which rises during times of stress and is known to increase abdominal fat. Findings also reported that yoga participants lost significantly more subcutaneous fat over the initial 6 months of the study period, and kept losing it during a maintenance period with less direct supervision. As Arenata explained, Poses are held much longer than in other styles of yoga, often as long as 7 minutes, compressing the muscle aligning with the breath, deepening the pose as measured breathing is emphasized. As endurance athletes, we ask much of our bodies. Moderate to intense exercise stimulates our sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system, which literally breaks down muscle. Every workout we do challenges the body, and when the body adapts, it becomes stronger. However, the adaptation or recovery phase is just as important as the workout itself. Without recovery, there would be no gains in power, strength or endurance. One way to enhance your recovery is by practicing restorative yoga. Many athletes view yoga as an alternative means of exercise or physical training, but if practiced in its true spirit, yoga can balance body and mind, which enhances both athletic performance and well-being.

For more on restorative yoga to balance your endurance workout life, join me Thursday, September 21 @6-7:15pm at Oakland’s Loka Yoga for a rejuvenating flow experience.

See you on the mat!

Power it up with Resistance Bands -On or off the Mat!


bandsResistance bands are the greatest muscle building tool on the planet – there, I said it! However, If you do the same workout over and over not only will your body stop responding, but you will get bored and eventually skip your sessions. And that’s when yoga comes in to break up the monotony in your workout life.


What you need: One exercise band with handles, Wacces® NEW 5 Resistance Bands SET for Yoga, ABS & Gym Workout is what I recommend. I teach my clients that need core strengthening with Wacces. Choose light resistance if you’re new to strength-training, medium if you’re already working out.

Leg Extensions

Stretch your adductors and hamstrings with leg extensions. Lie on your back with both legs extended along the floor. Bend the right knee and place the resistance band around the ball of your right foot. Extend the right leg toward the sky and hold both ends of the band with your right hand. Slowly allow the right leg to fall toward the right side, stretching the hip.

Dancer Pose

Standing with a straight spine, bend your right knee and wrap a resistance band around the top of your right foot. Hold both ends of the band behind you with your right hand, and tilt your torso forward to a 45-degree angle. Raise the right leg toward the ceiling as high as it will go and extend the left arm out in front of you for balance. Press back slightly with the right foot against the resistance of the band, engaging the quadriceps.


The squat is my favorite exercise of all. Start with “Off the door anchor” squat. This style of squat will require you to stand on the bands. There are two variations of this squat that relate to your hand position. Many people prefer to squat by holding the handles up in what I call “Bar Position” (as if you have a bar across your back). Others prefer the second variation, which is simply holding the actual bands with your arms positioned straight down. Try each variate to see which style feels better. There you go. The essential, unbelievable squat for resistance bands workouts.



In 2015, Prevention tested five ways to get strong—weights, resistance balls and bands, Pilates, yoga, and body-weight moves like push-ups—on 18 sedentary women to find out which could deliver a leaner, firmer figure the fastest. Resistance bands was the winner of them all. After 12 weeks, the women in our band group shaved 30% more inches off their bellies, hips, arms, and thighs, averaging a total loss of 15 inches. They also dropped 18% more weight—averaging 6 pounds each—while one of them built enough shapely muscle to rev up her metabolism by about 120 calories a day.

For these moves you’ll need a sturdy chair and small, looped resistance band. Add a few of the exercises below to your current total-body routine (perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.)


A great exercise of spinal strength is to work with a chair for some resistance workout. The chair requires openness through the front side of the torso while deepening the bend into the legs. Most importantly, the weight of chair pose is back in the heels, allowing for accessible stacking of the vertebra to create shoulder over hip alignment. Sometimes, the range of motion in the shoulders limits the ability to take the arms up and overhead.

resistance bands

Adding a resistance band will increase the amount of tension taking the arms back and allow for an easier stack of the shoulders over the hips.

Book a session with me if you want to explore circuit training through a resistance bands. I hope this blog was beneficial and can add to your next workout, on or off the yoga mat! Happy banding!!


Ayurveda Yoga

pestal mortyrAyurveda (i″yur-va´dah) is a Sanskrit word meaning “The science, knowledge or truth of life”. It is a holistic approach to optimal health incorporating the elements of nature. We are all part of nature. An Ayurvedic consultation can help you to understand how to live in harmony in our environment and with all those around us. Our physical bodies are intertwined and deeply connected to our emotional, mental and spiritual mind. When our body and mind goes out of balance, often there is a root or underlying cause. This approach can alleviate symptoms and bring the body back into balance. This will be a personalized journey that begins with awareness and leads you to health, vitality and greater happiness in your life!

We’re constantly in flux throughout the day: our energy level and our mood, for example, are different first thing in the morning than they are at noon. Ayurveda, then, is a personalized, intuitive health philosophy. According to Ayurvedic principles, each of us has a unique constitution governed by our physical and emotional makeup, as well as our lifestyle—the foods we eat, what time we go to sleep. These constitutions are called doshas, and they are linked to the elements. The doshas are vata (air and ether), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (earth and water).


Knowing our doshas and how to balance them can help us customize our yoga practice for maximum results. Below is Jurian’s yogic guide to the doshas.

Vata. “Vatas are mentally quick, enjoy movement, and are creative,” Jurian says. “Signs of imbalance for them are insomnia, anxiety, and dryness.” For those who might be experiencing vata imbalance, Jurian recommends slow, steady, grounding postures—Mountain pose, spinal twists, inversions—as well as deep, calm breathing to cultivate stillness, nurture, and self-care.

Pitta. The qualities of the pitta dosha are passion, enthusiasm, and courage; on the flip side, anger, competitiveness, and imflammation are a sign of imbalance. Thus, Jurian suggests practicing cooling, relaxing postures to release heat and tension, such as forward bends, as well as heart-openers, such as Bow and Camel, to encourage compassion, patience, and the ability to slow down.

Kapha. “Those with a kapha constitution tend to be consistent, devoted, stable, and strong,” notes Jurian. Signs of kapha imbalance can include procrastination, dullness, and congestion, so stimulating movement such as Sun Salutations and vigorous breathing exercises such as kapalabhati can help foster enthusiasm, heat, and focus.

Try Organic Tulsi Tea Leaves or Holy Basil to add to your hot water and make a tea that will aid digestion, Tulsi loose leaf can be ordered here Organic Tulsi Tea – Loose Leaf – 100g .

An Ayurvedic approach to health can help you accomplish the following:

*Develop a simple daily plan to realize and maintain optimal health and longevity
*Reduce stress and anxiety to feel balance and harmony in your life
*Transform fatigue into abundant energy
*Overcome insomnia to sleep soundly, waking rested and rejuvenated
*Experience healthy digestion and metabolism to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
*Discover your full potential and experience happiness in every aspect of your life!

Checkout a list of Ayurveda Practitioners in Oakland!

California College of Ayurveda

Eden Ayurveda

Elemental Ayurveda

Jessie Holland Ayurveda & Yoga

TriDosha Wellness