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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Aloha Everyone,

Below is how to do the Eagle Pose (Garudasana):

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Extend both arms out in front with palms facing up
  • Place the left arm over the right and touch the palms.
  • Lift the elbows as you let the shoulders go down the back
  • Shift your weight onto left foot
  • Squat, bend right leg and lift the right foot
  • Cross your right thigh over your left
  • Try to hook the right foot around the left calf
  • Imagine sinking your hips while maintaining your spine straight
  • Steady your mind to increase your strength and balance.
  • Inhale, exhale, and continue breathing holding this position for 6 to 10 breaths.
  • Come back to Tadasana
  • Switch sides


  • Improves balance of mind and body
  • Improves concentration
  • Strengthens thighs
  • Helps open hips
  • Strengthens leg
  • Helps stretch ankles and calves
  • Stretches the thighs and hips
  • Stretches and opens shoulders as well as upper back
  • Helps focus

Cathi's note:  This pose is all about stretching and strengthening.  Start with a few breaths until you are able to extend your practice. Along with the Tree Pose, Garudasana helps in improving concentration and sense of balance. You can start your practice with your shoulders and buttocks against the wall to provide additional support and help with your balance Start with either left or right leg.  Just make sure you do both sides for the same duration.

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chair Pose (Utkatasana) Explained

Aloha Everyone,

Below is the technique for the Chair Pose (Utkatasana):


  • Stand in Tadasana
  • Keep both feet on the ground
  • Inhale and bring your body in a squat position as if you are sitting down in a chair
  • Arms raised above your head, fingers pointing straight, elbows straight
  • Body should be at a 45 degrees angle, knees bent
  • Emphasis is on the muscles of the legs and pelvis
  • Try to find stability and balance between the upper and lower body
  • Inhale, exhale continue breathing holding this position for 6 to 10 breaths


  • Strengthens lower back and abdominals as well as thighs
  • Creates space in the shoulders
  • Opens chest
  • Helps stimulate the heart
  • Alleviates lower back pains and neck problems
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Helps stimulate abdominal organs and diaphragm
  • Reduces flat feet
  • Helps you focus 


Airplane pose – instead of raising your arms above your head, open your arms wide like the wings of an airplane then squat

Cathi's note:  This is not a sitting on a chair pose but rather putting your body into a pose as if you are sitting down in a chair.  It is an active pose and in addition to balancing your mind and body, this pose helps strengthens the spine, thighs, calves and ankles.  Chair pose also gives good stretch through the chest and shoulders. 

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) Explained

Aloha Everyone,

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Inhale and step out with your feet pointing forward approximately 4 - 5 feet apart.
  • Stretch your arms, shoulder blades wide, palms facing down parallel to the floor
  • Turn in your left foot in about 45°.to the right and your right foot out to the right 90°.
  • Align the right heel with the left heel
  • Exhale and bend your torso sideways to the right 
  • Place your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot
  • Tuck in your should blades, your back ribs, your buttocks and your tailbone
  • Align your spine with the back of your head and your tailbone
  • Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling
  • Ground your right big toe and tighten your calf and thigh
  • Keep your head down, or in a neutral position or look up at the left thumb
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, don’t forget to breathe.
  • Inhale to come up
  • Reverse the feet and repeat on the other side for the same length of time


  • Stretches and strengthens your thighs, hips, groins, calves, knees and ankles
  • Stretches and opens shoulders and chest
  • Helps stimulate the abdominal organs
  • Improves the flexibility of spine
  • Corrects body alignment
  • Alleviates backache
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieve stress

Cathi's note:  Trikonasana, the Triangle pose improves the strength, stability and balance of your body and the mind.  For beginners, please take your time in  learning and mastering this pose.  I cannot over emphasize the importance of listening to your body and use common sense. * Practice this pose with your with your shoulders and buttocks against the wall and your hand on your shin or on a yoga block to help keep the shoulders, hips and feet in alignment

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tree Pose (Vrkshasana)

Aloha Everyone,

Technique for Tree Pose (Vrkshasana):

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Shift your weight onto the right leg
  • Lift your left leg, grab your left ankle.
  • Press the sole of your left foot against inner thigh of your right leg, point toes down
  • Make sure that your standing leg is firm and grounded.
  • Press your palms together in Namaste Mudra in front of your chest
  • Once your mind is calm and settled, raise both arms straight above your head
  • If you are able to, press your palms together, elbows straight
  • Gaze at a fixed point in front of you or on the floor that is not moving
  • Inhale deeply, exhale completely and continue long and slow breathing.
  • Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Stand back in Tadasana.
  • Switch sides

  • Helps improves balance and brings equilibrium to your mind
  • Improves balance of your body, helps gain stability in the legs
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Helps strengthen the ligaments and tendon of the feet
  • Helps strengthen and tones the standing leg
  • Helps firm your buttocks and opens the pelvic area
  • Helps build self-confidence and improves self esteem
  • Stretches the legs, back and arms

  • Leaves you feeling strong and rejuvenated

  • Helps you achieve balance in your life

Cathi's note:  This is one of the most elegant standing poses and helps you build self-confidence and self-esteem.  It is not difficult to get into but it takes practice, concentration and patience to remain in the pose. The Tree pose not only improves balance and stability in the legs but it is very calming and helps you achieve balance in your life.  You can start your practice with your shoulders and buttocks against the wall to provide additional support and help you with your balance. Begin with either left or right leg.  Just make sure you do both sides for the same duration.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bring Balance Into Your Life With Yoga - For Happy, Healthy Living

Aloha Everyone,

The Centers of Disease Control reported that each year 1 in 3 adults 65 years and older falls.  That's nearly 30% of the age group. Among those who fell, 38% of seniors aged 85 and older were hospitalized as a result of their injuries from the fall.  Many of these falls are preventable. You can begin by modifying your homes to suit your changing needs.  But more importantly, you can work on improving your body and mind by bringing more balance in your life.  Doing daily yoga exercises not only help you with balance but also with increased mobility, flexibility more energy and strengthening your muscles and over all happy, healthy living.

These are my favorite 10 Standing Yoga Asanas to improve balance   I will be writing separate blogs on each one of them.

I.  Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
2.  Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
3.  Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
4.  Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
5.  Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
6.  Warrior I (Virbhadrasana 1)
7.  Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
8.  Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
9.  Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
10.  High Lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

Be well, be content, be kind to yourself and others and live a joyful and compassionate life.

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Aloha Everyone,

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Explained

“Mountain pose teaches us, literally, how to stand on our own two feet.... teaching us to root ourselves into the earth.... Our bodies become a connection between heaven and earth.”   ~Carol Krucoff


  • Stand with your feet together in line with each other and press them into the ground
  • The big toes and heels of both feet are touching. (Variation – feet shoulder apart)
  • Your weight should be on the centers of the arches of the feet, stretch your toes
  • Tighten the muscles of the legs, life your kneecaps. pull up your quadriceps
  • Tighten your buttocks; pull your lower abdomen in and up
  • Extend your arms at the sides of your body
  • Lift your sternum; open your chest, shoulders relaxed
  • Inhale and exhale
  • Hold this position for 1 - 3 minutes

  • Steadies breathing, increases awareness
  • Improves the alignment of your body and body posture
  • Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles and firms abdomen and buttocks
  • Creation of space within the body to allow the internal organs to function efficiently  
  • Helping the digestion process, elimination process and respiration process
  • Develops strength and flexibility simultaneously, especially in the spine
  • Relieves tension, aches, and pains throughout the body, relieves sciatica
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated
  • Expels dullness and depression
  • Harmonizes the body and mind
  • Increases energy and enthusiasm
  • Promotes happiness and confidence


  • Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana - Mountain Pose with arms stretched up
  • Tadasana Urdhva Baddha Hastasana  - Mountain Pose with arms bound & stretched up
  • Tadasana Paschima Namaskar – Mountain Pose with Namaste Hands – in your back
  • Tadasana Gomukhasana – Mountain Pose with hands held in the shape of a “cow’s face”
  • Tadasana Paschima Baddha Namaskar – Mountain Pose with Bound arms – holding    opposite arms in your back just above the elbows
Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana
Tadasana Paschima Namaskar 

Tadasana Gomukhasana 

Cathi's note:  Mountain pose is a wonderful asana which you can do it anywhere.  Practicing Tadasana early in the morning helps you feel invigorated, motivated and grounded.  This is the foundation of other standing asanas and helps you increase your awareness of your body.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, November 7, 2013

To The People In My Life

Aloha Everyone,

This is a lovely essay.  My sister shared this with me years ago and I saved it on my computer.  I searched to see who actually wrote this but so far cannot give one person credit he or she certainly deserves.  Please enjoy!  Cathi

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.  When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.  Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They bring you an experience, peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it, it is real.  But it is only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

Aloha Everyone,

This is one of the most important pranayama (breath control or control of the life forcetaught in different schools of yoga. Ujjayi is sometime called the “sounding breath” or "ocean breath”.  Ujjayi is also referred to as the "Darth Vader" breath because of the hissing sound as you inhale and exhale.  Ujjayi pranayama help us regulate the time it takes the air to enter and exit our lungs. 

      1. Sit in a comfortable seated position
      2.  Close your eyes
      3.  Elongate your spine
      4.  Take 5 long, slow, gentle and deep breaths through the nostrils
      5.  Open your mouth and make “Hah sound” like you are warming up your hands
      6.  Constrict the throat muscles slightly
      7.  Now try to make the same “Hah” sound with your mouth closed as you inhale an
      8.  Begin to lengthen the inhalation and exhalation without causing tension.
      9.  Maintain equal in and out breathing sound that is smooth and continuous.
     10. Start with 3 minutes and go up to 10 minutes


  1. Focuses the mind and prepares for meditation
  2. Brings calmness to the body and mind
  3. Helps improve the quality of our breathing
  4. Helps the body regains its equilibrium
  5. Helps you concentrate
  6. Helps lower blood pressure, slow down heart rate
  7. Helps treat insomnia
  8. Effective for pain reduction and migraines
  9. You will have more energy


·         Yoga pranayama is not a substitute for medical care
·         Know your limits.  Do not over strain.
·         Be mindful
·         Hydrate, rest and relax after every session
·         Receive proper guidance from an experienced teacher, ask questions

 Namaste -- Cathi