4 ways yoga at home enhances your practice | barefootveronicaluna

As much as I love practicing at the studio.Practicing on my own makes me feel like a big girl who’s able to get her shit together.

I feel like I should’t be saying this since I am a teacher. If everyone would practice at home I would be talking to an empty room all day. Even tho I love that people come to my classes.  I think the main goal of all yoga teachers is to be able to share the love for yoga to as much people as we can. And know that they’ve learned enough to be able to practice on their own at home. I feel so proud when one of my students tell me they’ve started practicing at home. Like ”Llook at you honey, being independent” I just love it!

Before being a teacher, I am forever a student. That is why recently I’ve been feeling the urge of practicing at home. Theres something about making a mindful choice to roll out your mat , in the middle of so much distraction, to just take a moment for yourself to breathe. I truly feel it’s been amazing to help improve my practice and teaching skills.

And so I wanted to share them with you, dudes and dudettes of the internet. To give you some inspiration on why practicing at home can enhance your practice! Leggo

It helps to 100% tune in

I got to admit , at first it’s a little intimidating. You’re afraid of doing something wrong ,or maybe not working hard enough. The truth is your practice cant never be wrong if you are true to your breath. Sometimes in the studio you match the rhythm of body next to you. Or the teacher goes a little too fast for your own pace. So when your at home, you can really just focus on your breath and your body will intuitively move the way it needs to. Which in return, helps you tune in to your body better so you know where to go next in the sequence.

It builds discipline

 You are what you do everyday, don’t you want to be a badass mermaid yogi feeling strong and confident because you don’t let excuses stop you? Practicing at home can be a way to not let excuses get in the way. You know like not making it on time at the studio. Or feeling lazy to get to the studio. When that happens , you could just tell yourself that all you have to do is roll out your mat and let your breath take you where you need to go.

Your free to be a creative yogi unicorn

When no one is around , you can really let yourself be the weirdo you are. With no teacher telling you what to do next, you have no choice but to get creative. Maybe get into a pose in a different way, take more time in child’s pose, or simply taking ten minutes shavasana instead of three. I noticed I started to get really creative when I practice at home and I feel like the sky is the limit on how I can sequence my practice.

It gets personal

Practicing  at home means you have no choice but to let it get personal. Your in total control of where it is all going. It’s you and your breath and your body. Anything can happen, I mean literally anything ( like finally letting your farts out! ha!) It also can be a good way to practice in case your thinking about becoming a yoga teacher? (wink wink.) In case you’ve been thinking about it you can also check my post about how to find the right TTC training 

 

 

 

Happy monday!

Light & love always,

 

How to find the right Yoga teacher training | barefootveronicaluna

Just about a year ago, around this time.  I was looking into teacher training programs to become a certified yoga teacher.  If you read my yoga journey story , you know that I started practicing yoga around 3-4years ago , but it’s not after I came back from my trip to Asia that I felt the impulse to try it again. And little did I know that 8 months later, I would be on my way to my very first 200 hours of ttc. I took this TTC seach very seriously and really did my homework. I finally decided to go with JIVANI YOGA school in Costa Rica. Since then, time has flown by and I absolutely love teaching and sharing my love for moving the body with breath and getting sweaty!

 

How do you pick? How do you know which training is the right one?  Because I know how confusing it can be with the bazillion options there are out there in the wild, I want to share the 5 questions everyone should ask themselves , when searching for the right ttc.

What are you looking for in a  teacher training ?

First , you want to know what type of yoga you prefer. Theres tons of different trainings and teachers out there who may have a totally different  vision than you do. Remember you will be spending 200 hours (if not more)  learning and breathing about the type of yoga you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions about the program and the type of yoga you will be learning to teach. Some trainings are deeply based on philosophy and mudras meanwhile others are more focused on physical asana and alignment. The curriculum should make you feel excited and interested. So that you don’t find yourself in an awkward position (like literally.)

Is it a yoga alliance registered school?

Making sure the school or training your attending is RYS certified will save you time & money after you graduate if you decide that teaching is truly what you want to do. I honestly haven’t had any studio asking me if I was registered with yoga alliance. But it is better if you are in the long run.

In what environnement do you want to be in?

This my friends is crucial. You will be spending a whole month  in the same environnement so you want to choose wisely. Do you like warm weather ? Do you mind insects? Do you want to have access to the beach , or live on top of a tibetan mountain ? I know I wanted to have the beach close, surrounded by nature but not too far from the city. I live in the coldest country in the world. If I leave for a month, you can be sure it will be to remind myself that not all human beings live in polar bear land.

 What does formal TTC graduates say about the training ?

At the end of the day , what matters is what you think about the training. But it doesnt hurt to check out the reviews or feedbacks from students that already graduated. Searching on youtube can be a good way to do so. At some point I was literally breathing and eating  videos about graduates testimonials. 

What is your budget & time commitement  ?

Once you know how much time you’re able to spend on your training and how much your willing to pay. It will become much easier to find the one that suits you. Some trainings can be done on weekends, others are fully immersive (you have to live somewhere for a month) etc etc. Same goes for the cost of the training, the average is around 2000-5000 depending on where it is.  Trainings that have accommodation and food included can help reduce the cost.

The most important thing is that you do your research and trust that you will find the right one. I believe nothing happens for nothing in life. If you’re meant to go to a training it could never be the ” wrong” training. No matter which one you choose, it will most probably be a life changing experience that will make you grow and learn so many incredible things.

I wish you the best of luck and cheers to being a badass yoga teacher, mate!

Love & light always, 

 

 

5 yoga poses to have more energy in the morning | barefootveronicaluna

The other day I had to wake up around 5am to teach a class at 6:15am. No matter how much I prepared myself mentally and to go to bed early. I still woke up tired as hell (waking up at the crack of dawn should be illegal .) It’s a good thing I love yoga , and teaching , so that I didn’t completely loose my mind. Still, I was feeling very tired even after my 4th cup of coffee. Then I remembered I am a yoga teacher and I could use that at my advantage to , you know, get my body moving and boost my energy. So I did , and felt amazing. These 5 little moves worked their magic ( also giving some creds to the caffeine.) In case you have to wakeup  up super early tomorrow or you just want to have more energy to start your day. Here are 5 yoga poses that can help you out!

Three legged – bent knee – down dog

Down dog is the home base. It’s pretty much one of the first pose you do in your practice because it’s where you start to scan and feel your body.Start by lifting your hips up, pressing your hands and finger tips down on the mat. Fingers spread wide, your hands are shoulder distance. Your head is relaxed , and you are creating space for your neck by inner rotating your shoulders. So that your biceps roll up towards the ceiling , and triceps down towards the mat. Deep breaths in and out , and send your breath to your hips. Feel the energy up, all the way from your hands, through your arms, a long side your ribs, hips, to the tip of your toes. The knee towards the ceiling helps to open your hip. I love this pose because it is such an active one but is also very grounding

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Half camel pose

 

This pose looks harder than it really is. And there’s actually plenty of options to modify. You can place a blanket under knees to be more comfortable. Simply stand on your knees, tuck your toes under so that you hills are higher. You can place your hands on top of your ”back pockets” and simply start to look up while pressing on your hips down.Lifting from the chest, going up and back slightly. You can either keep the hands on your lower back , or bring one hand to your heal ( thumb on the inside) and bring your other hand towards the ceiling. This is a great pose to boost your energy since you’re creating a back bend, opening your chest , throat, shoulders. Back bends are a good way to rise your energy naturally since they increase your heart beat. One of my faves!

Straight leg forward fold with a twist

 

I’ve had a love/ hate relationship with this pose. At first it’s a little uncomfortable, but then you settle in the pose and start to let go of the resistance and it’s magical. Start by separating your feet wide, straight legs bring your hands on your hips. Bend your knees a little ( or a lot, depends what fits better in your body.) Then breathe in and straighten your spine, and bring your right hand towards the left ankle or as far to the left you can bring it, and reach your left arm towards the right. Creating a twist in your torso, so that you activate your digestive system. You are also opening the chest , stretching the shoulders, side ribs and hamstrings.

 

High lunge side twist

We can say I am a fan of the twisting. I just love how they feel. Options are to keep the back knee on the ground. You can also bring one hand down on the inside of the knee and bring the opposite hand towards the ceiling. Creating a support with the hand on the ground and the knee down.

Upward facing dog

 

You can also modify by simply staying on your belly, place your hands under your shoulders and stick your elbows to your ribs. Then lift your chest and roll your shoulders back for little cobra. I love upward facing dog because it really wakes up every muscle in your body. It is also a great front body stretch. I love to start in down dog and then come forward to plank and drop my hips and roll my shoulder backs for updog. These two movement combine can be a great body activation by engaging your whole body and creating movement in your body. Make sure you are pressing into your hands, rolling the shoulders back and looking slightly up. Elbows are micro bent and you are pressing on the top of your feet to lift the hips up. Are you awake yet?

Comment below which one is your favourite and what are your tips to have more energy in the morning ?

 

Love & light always, 

5 yoga poses to reduce anxiety ( for beginners)| barefootveronicaluna

Hello dudes & dudettes of the internet,

A few years ago , I started to practice yoga so that I could get a good workout in. Little did I know that I would become totally obsessed with it and then become a teacher (ha! You never really know where you’re going to end up!) One of the many things yoga has helped me with is to deal with my anxiety. After coming back from my trip to Asia, I started to have chest pains and little moments of total panic. Thankfully, yoga helped me feel much more centered and gave me a couple of tools that I can whip out anytime I feel like my anxiety is taking me to a dark creepy ally.

Probably one of the biggest reasons anyone starts to do yoga is because they want to relax and feel good, as your goddess self deserves. That is why I want to share with you the 5 (beginner friendly) poses that help me reduce my anxiety. So that you can also feel like a zen buddhist monk.

Seated spinal twist

This pose is one of my all time favourites. It can also be done while laying down on your back, bringing one hip under and letting your knees fall to the opposite side. You can also place blocks in between your legs to help your knees touch the floor. Spinal twist are great when you feel like you’re loosing your shit, because it sends signals to your brain that actually helps to calm your nervous system. Simply bring one leg over the other leg (bent or extended) and hook your elbow on the outside of the knee. And make sure your spine is long and take deep belly breaths.

Forward fold ( cow face)

 

This one looks harder than it really is.  I used to hate this pose but now I totally love it! Find a seated position and bring on leg over the other and try to stack your knees on top of each other. Your legs are both bent and flex both of your feet. Then you inhale find a long spine, and exhale fold forward. I prefer to round my back so that it is more of a resting pose. I find this pose opens my hips, so it releases any tension you might be holding on to. And the forward fold also gives a massage to your inner organs and helps to calm the breath.

Legs up the wall

This one is the ephipany when it comes to getting your shit together. When I travel , I find myself 85% of the time in this pose. This inversion is great because you are doing absolutely nothing, your legs are draining. So the blood goes back to your heart and it doesnt have to work as hard. For extra comfort, place pillows under your head and lower back and bring your hands on your belly, and breathe big belly breaths. You’re welcome!

Single leg side bend

I basically do this pose in all my yoga practices. There so many things that are happening here. Side bend, twist in the upper chest, harmstring stretch. Your mind has no other choice than being absolutely immersed in it. And that’s when the magic happens. Slow your breath here and feel all the feels.

Forward fold (Padangusthasana)

For the record, I am not trying to look at my butt upside down. There are many ways of creating this forward fold ,one of my faves is to simply grab my big toes with my index and middle finger. With the little hook I pull on my toes and bend my elbows side ways so that my chest rest on my tights. Having my head upside down helps me calm my breath and I love feeling the stretch right in the belly of my harmstrings. It’s a total calming pose, do this towards the end of your practice or randomly when you feel stressed out. I promise you won’t regret it!

 

Light & love, always!

10 things you didn’t know about yoga teachers| barefootveronicaluna

First of all , we don’t know everything.

Don’t get me wrong as a yoga teacher I love it when my students trust me enough to talk about their problems or health issues. But you truly have to know that , unfortunately, we don’t know everything about the human body nor have the solution to every problem. To become a yoga teacher , you need 200 hours teacher training certification. And thats it! I’m not saying that’s not a lot, because it is a shit ton of yoga. It’s still isn’t quite the same as becoming a doctor or psychologist. If you ever need to talk, know that as teachers, we are here to help and make sure that you have a great and safe experience while practicing yoga, but also note that if you start to dive deep into medical issues and terms or ask me why you have a tummy ache- the truth is, we  probably don’t know.

Not all yoga teachers are flexible.

Did your mind just exploded right about now?  Even tho it takes a certain level of range of motion, not all yoga teachers are extremely flexible or capable of doing every fancy pose in the book, and guess what? That’s totally cool! Yoga is not about how flexible you are or how long you can hold your handstands. Fortunately, yoga is a much more private & personal practice that goes deeper than the physical asana. My favourite part about teaching yoga is that I get to teach the yoga that I know and I am comfortable with , I don’t have to know how to do eka pada kundiyasana I in order to be a good yoga teacher, because teaching comes more from the heart and it’s not really about me- but more about the student and their levels of expertise and where they want to take their practice.

Being a yoga teacher doesn’t make us zen.

We are definitely not always zen, other than being yoga teachers we’re also humans and therefore have access to feelings and are receptive to stress or anxiety. It’s true that doing yoga helps to calm the mind and be less insane when it comes to dealing with problems or stressful situation. In fact yoga can be many things ; stress relief, a workout, a way to find peace, be mindful and it is amazing. I would love to say that I am 100% of the time in a zen mode, chanting mantras and practicing pranayama breathing,but truth is I need to workout and do yoga for a few hours in order to calm my monkey mind and act like a decent human.

We mess up sometimes.

If you’re a yoga teacher, you’re probably familiar with messing up a sequence or do one side but completely blank out on the other side.If you’re not a teacher then you’ve probably been to a class where the teacher keeps forgetting the right side. Yes, we’ve all been there, and when we randomly tell you to go to child pose it doesn’t mean we want you to have a break (well, yes) but also, we really just want to remember what we just did and repeat it on the other side, and for that we need you to not be looking at us.

Teaching can be stressful.

 Especially if you’re a new teacher , teaching your first class can be very intimidating. But not only for new bee’s, it is also stressful when you feel like the class is going super well, until one student starts going off track and then everyone follows. It happened to me once teaching at a gym, where this girl just randomly started to text on her phone in the middle of the class in the back. She thought I wasn’t able to see her because she tried to hide it with her towel, but I could totally see her. And so did everyone in downward dog facing the back of the class.  It really doesnt take much for me to get distracted so trying to guide the class while also figuring out a way to gently tell her to shut her phone off was quite the challenge.

We don’t just live & breathe yoga.

Even if I do see yoga as a lifestyle because I enjoy doing yoga for fun and it turns out that is also something I do professionally, there is plenty of other interesting things about a yoga teacher other than the fact that they teach yoga.  I also love to get a good workout in other than yoga,  and write weird things on my blog in a corner of the internet. You know, to each it’s own.

We don’t love ALL yoga poses.

I wish I could say I love all yoga poses and that I’m absolutely fantastic at keeping my jaw & eyebrows soft trying to look like I’m knitting , when I’ve been holding reversed ardha chandrasana for 5 breaths and I am dying. You know what I’m talking about ? That pose you know you hate but chances are it’s the one you need the most. Theres a quote that say ” Try to learn from uncomfortable angles” that is basically what yoga is 75% of the time, and that is okay because it means you are leaning to your edge and discovering new things about your practice. Who am I kidding , if I don’t like it after 5 breath I back off and chill in child pose.

 

We cant read your mind (or feel what you feel)

That is why it’s super important to be aware of your body & breath because that is the best guidance you can have throughout your practice. Yes the teacher’s voice is important too, but we can’t feel how certain poses feel in your body because we all have different bodies and a pose that feels good to me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will feel good for you too. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand and ask for help and modification when something just isn’t okay. If you can’t breathe, chances are you went a little too far. Don’t expect us to just read through your eyes, we’re not there yet.

We are forever students.

Most people think that once you become a yoga teacher it’s like you magically know everything there is to know about yoga and the 5 billion different styles out there. I’m sorry to break it to you lovely humans of the earth, but no way! As a teacher, rest assure that we are always learning and figuring out things, just like you are. Like the other day I went to a new yoga studio and the way the teacher taught the class was completely different than what I’m used to, and there was new poses and new ways of getting into the poses. It was very exciting to feel like a beginner all over again. Learning is the only thing I do as a teacher, it never stops!

Sanskrit knowledge is amazing(but we do not all have it down)

I don’t know how to say this but …. I don’t speak sanskrit fluently. There.I said it. I think it’s beautiful when the teacher calls out a pose in sanskrit and I also like to say the name in sanskrit when I can. If the teacher can create a safe environment for you to experience your own body & breath in mindfulness , then I think the teacher did a pretty good job! The goal of teaching yoga is not to show off how advanced we might be in our practice or how many sanskrit words we know, but to pass on the love of yoga and give you enough tools so that you grow in your own practice and you are able to maintain a healthy and regular yoga practice. ( I feel like the last sentence was very poetic! Namasté! )

 

Love & light always,

 

 

how yoga works for you if you show up | barefootveronicaluna

The past 3 years of my life have been very eye opening for me when it comes to taking positive actions on my own behalf. Just a couple years ago I was pretty much the president of the no self love club. So how did I get here? How can you reconnect with yourself and start doing more things that make you feel good?

Knock knock 

Of course it’s hard to practice self-care when you don’t know what is going on in your body. To find a solution you first have to know what the problem is. We spend so much time in our heads and our monkey minds that it is very rare we actually take the time to acknowledge how we feel in the moment. For many years, I was the queen of shutting down any communication with my body and completely lost connection with myself. How did I regain the ability to listen to my body? By stepping on my mat everyday. After just a few weeks of practicing yoga, I felt like I was coming back home.

Who’s there? 

Showing up for myself was the first step to regain the missing link. After comes the ” sticking with it part”. A lot of people think they hate yoga at first ( ps: I was one of those people! Yikes!) but if you hold on long enough, the layers start to come off and the magic happens. Soon enough I could catch myself taking deep breaths while in line at the grocery store, or in stressful situations.You start to feel things you might have been avoiding for a long time, remembering things you might have hoped to forget. All of it is stored in your body on a deeper level, and yoga simply moves it around until you have no choice but to face it.

Reconnecting 

Yoga taught me that it’s best to feel it all – the good and the not so good- rather than shutting it all out. Yoga is just the tool to help you open up a little bit more each day. Moving your body in a way that feels good for you, and slowly you start to open up from the inside. Linking breath and movement connects you with your body and the space around you, and making the choice to do so is what empowers you.

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” —Carl Gustav Jung. 
Love & light always,

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