Take a Forward Fold. Inverting stimulates your circulation, bringing blood flow to the brain and generally helps to reboot your internal systems, including digestion. It’s a great way of shaking things up when your body’s feeling stagnant or sluggish. If you have abnormally high or low blood pressure or glaucoma, you might like to consult with your doctor first, as you may need to keep your head above your heart to modify. Note: You do not have to touch your toes. If your back or hamstrings feel tight, simply bend your knees and keep your feet at least hip-width apart and parallel. Remember to take deep breaths during this pose. Want an added bonus that opens your shoulders simultaneously? Clasp your hands behind your back and stretch them overhead as you fold forward.
Inhale the aroma of organic pure peppermint oil. Better yet, place a few dots on your temples or your chest where you can smell it throughout the day. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, as the pure oil can be highly concentrated. According to aromatherapy, natural peppermint scent promotes clarity of mind and concentration, helps alleviate headaches, clears nasal passages and provides a plethora of other benefits.
Move through a few sun salutations with breath-led mindful movement. Activate your circulation, respiration and coordination, enjoying the benefits of embedded forward folds, spinal stretches and backbends and opening up your whole body while clearing your mind. Click here to watch my short video tutorial on the various sun salutations. Choose one that works for you.
Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing. This breathing technique balances the left and right sides of the body as well as your energy level. Click here_ to watch this 8-minute video tutorial, which takes you through this breath work, or pranayama. It’s also a good practice for mindfulness.
Massage your ears. (No, I’m not saying this just to watch you act like a monkey!) According to Chinese medicine, this stimulates energy centers. There’s a whole reflexology study and therapy centered on the ears! Gently fold and press your ear over its opening, and rub your thumb and index finger up and down the outer edges of and throughout your ear. Try it when you get drowsy driving in traffic to help awaken your senses.
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompasses body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it. -Marianne Manes (Los Angeles, CA)
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too. -Janette Guzman (Northridge, CA)