If you’ve been to some of my recent classes you might have noticed that I’m really into toes and feet at the moment. This probably has to with the fact that as I’ve been spending a lot of my time practicing hand balancing and handstands lately. You might be thinking, what does standing on your hands have to do with toes? A lot. Keep reading.

If you’re holding a handstand, a lot of your balancing ability is dependant, amongst other things, on strength, micromovements and dexterity of your fingers and hands. Dexterity is simply the skill in performing a task. The micromovements, in other words are closely related and dictate the macromovements of your body.

Now, exit handstand and stand up. The above applies to your feet too. The difference is, while we move hands and fingers a lot, we sadly forget our toes. Toes should be free and able to play; our feet are meant to be strong and cover as large surface area as possible. However, from early age we enclose them in shoes, trainers, pointy high heels etc so unsurprisingly often the inevitable result is dexterity. Lack of strength, flexibility and mobility.

Enter yoga. I often see students in class really struggling in yoga balancing postures. They’re focused, strong, determined and still keep falling out time and time again. Sadly, I am yet to go to yoga class where a yoga teacher even mentions toe dexterity and how it relates to balancing postures.
And don’t even get me started on toe dorsiflexion, feet strengthening, mobility and active flexibility, functional movement range etc… Call me cynical, but I do believe that prior to clearing chakras, energies etc one should really learn to walk and stand on their own two feet. But, that’s just me.

Back to toes. Why you need to start playing with them? Poor toe dorsiflexion can adversely affect athletic performance and it can be closely related to many other problems such as Plantar Fasciatis ( got a job that involves you standing for long hours?), Runners Knee, over time Stress Fractures, poor trunk stability and single leg balance, etc…
Luckily, it is possible to improve your toe dexterity but like anything worth having it takes some commitment and work. Here’s what to do:

Walk around barefoot a bit.
Spread toes wide.
Lift and squeeze things with your toes.
Practice moving a single toe independently from other toes.
(big toe and small toe dorsiflexion)
Practice your yoga chair pose on your toes with heels pushed forward.
(calf raises)
Have a look at below the video for some ideas.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post here, but life’s been busy. Now, as I embark on a new journey to complete my Nutrition Therapist Certification, I thought I might share this interesting BBC graphic with you. I plan to share more stuff nutrition related here over the next few months, so tune in every now and then if you’re interested in the subject. In the meantime, check this list, there are some surprising ingredients on it. How many of the things on the list do you actually consume regularly? Food for thought.

Check it out:  The 100 Most Nutritious Food

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Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:
Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
❤️

Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)

URS DROGERIE & BIOLADEN , Switzerland 

– find them on UNAYOGA retreat this September !

... we focus on the person and their needs. Regardless of whether you have complaints or actively want to do something for your health and well-being, we are at your disposal to advise and support you.      With a broad product range of well-known partners, we find the right path for every health target.
The Naturathek strengthens you and helps you achieve natural vitalityand inner balance.We help the body carefully with supporting productssourced from nature and thereby keep your health and beauty in a     natural balance.
In today's stress filled world, the body often reacts with warning   signals, because it is affected by too many outside factors, thereby the immune system is constantly driven to work.

Urs Drogerie Bioladen based in Zug Kanton, Switzerland is one of my favourite places to go when I am looking for oils, health supplements, natural cosmetic products and vegan/raw food. From the first visit, I have been impressed by their knowledgeable team, that is supportive and always ready to guide you in the right direction. More than anything I love their Naturathek and in-house produced range.

I am therefore very happy to be able to share with you some of my favourite in-house products crafted by the Urs Drogerie team and bring them to the retreat this September.  ( Their in house Magnesuim spray is top of my list! ). I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do!

To find out more, please visit www.ursdrogerie.ch

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As we get older, one of the conditions that everyone should get informed on and be aware of is Osteoroposis. This is especially true for women going through menopause, as the deterioration of bone tissue can increase due to lower levels of estrogen. 

Statistics show that in the developed world, depending on the method of diagnosis, 2% to 8% of males and 9% to 38% of females are affected. Here’s a link to an interesting article published in The New York Times on how yoga can improve bone density, based on research done by Dr Loren M. Fishman, a physiatrist at Columbia University who specializes in rehabilitative medicine. 

It’s nice to see that poses used in this study are the ones that make the core backbone of all the sequences I teach my students. 

“Yoga puts more pressure on bone than gravity does. By opposing one group of muscles against another, it stimulates osteocytes, the bone-making cells.” 

 Dr. Loren M. Fishman, Columbia University 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2015/12/21/12-minutes-of-yoga-for-stronger-bones/