Category Archives: Yoga

Quick practice for low back pain

These days I wake up most mornings with a dull ache around my hips and in my lower back. I absolutely love co-sleeping and breastfeeding my little one, but now that she’s bigger and more squirmy at night we get into some interesting (and not necessarily ergonomic) positions. After a night like last night, when she nurses a LOT and we all get a restless night’s sleep (she’s teething, teething, teething) I head to my mat for a little low back love.

Lucy and I rolled out our mats side by side and pulled out the box of blocks too…just in case. We turned on a little music (Shantala’s amazing album “Jaya!”) and then I got onto my mat while Lucy played nearby. As I moved through the sequence Lucy joined in sometimes. She loves to hang off my back leg in lateral standing poses and leans into the back of my legs in downward dog, poking her head through my knees to grin at me. As I got towards the seated part of the practice she sat down and built a tower with her blocks…eventually those blocks became lovely toe adornments for me 🙂

lucy yoga blocks

If you’d like some low back love too follow along with this sequence below. If you’re not sure about the names of the poses just Google them and you’ll find lots of pictures. Spend at least 5 long deep breaths in each pose and do the right side and then the left side for each pose before moving on unless otherwise stated. Enjoy!

Balasana / child’s pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana / downward facing dog

Uttanasana / standing forward bend

Tadasana / mountain pose

Parsvakonasana / extended side angle pose

Prasarita Paddotanasana / wide leg forward bend + variations (walk hands to right foot while pressing left thigh and hip back. other side. walk hands between legs and draw head towards the floor)

Trikonasana / triangle pose

Uttanasana – Adho Mukha Svanasana – Lift right leg, bend knee and open hip holding for 2 breaths – straighten your leg and draw your shin up to the top of your mat for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana prep / pigeon pose. (2-3 breaths upright, 5 breaths in a forward fold). Repeat on the other side

Virasana / hero pose (sit on a few dense, supportive blankets or yoga blocks)

Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (if you don’t have a regular yoga practice or if you have “bad knees” I’d suggest omitting this one)

Janu Sirsasana / head to knee pose

Gomukasana / cow’s face pose (legs only with forward bend)

Ardha Matsyendrasana / half lord of the fishes pose

Sukasana / easy seat with short meditation (while toddler runs circle around you saying “all done!” in the cutest, sing-songy voice ever)

Moving on

It’s with a mixture of sadness and contentment that Bobby Bessey and I announce today the closure of Shakti Yoga Studio.

For four years we have been working together every day to run our beautiful space. We’ve worked long days, evenings, weekends. We’ve spent more time together than with our own husbands (and have had a good few laughs about this!). We’ve been proud of our dream being realized and so, so proud of the beautiful community that has grown from such simple beginnings. When we opened our doors for the very first time we had no idea if anybody would come. Now we can look around us and see familiar faces; people who were there on that first weekend and have kept coming back. Plus many more who have joined us along the way. We have an amazing staff of teachers, many of them graduates from our own Yoga Teacher Training program and a wonderful Studio Manager who was one of our first students. We are proud of this community and we feel blessed to have shared space with each and every person who has walked through our studio doors these last four years.

While our community has grown and become more and more rich our personal lives have also been transforming. In the beginning Bobby and I thrived on the busyness of entrepreneurial life. We loved the process of creating, building, exploring. We learned A LOT (and have continued to learn every day). We poured our hearts and souls into the studio.

Four years later we find ourselves wondering when it will get easier. The equation of energy in and remuneration out is still very out of balance. Running a business takes a whole lot of time and energy. And right now, we’re tired. For me personally, the last 18 months have been a whirlwind while I’ve struggled to find the right balance between the demands of my business and the new love of my life, my sweet daughter Lucy. This struggle for work/life balance is not new, I know! But what I’ve realized is that I will never, ever have another opportunity to raise my child. She’s growing every day! Running a business on the other hand, I can do anytime. And maybe I will again someday. But for now, I’ll be home with Lucy and enjoying every minute. I hope you’ll stay in touch with me here on my blog, in my yoga classes (to be announced soon) or by email, phone or in person. I’d love to continue the community that has grown up around Shakti in this new phase of my life. Thank you for reading.~ Namaste