shootayogi

Shoot a Yogi - Day 6: Heal Your Lower Back. (note that I am giving you some helpful tips for your practice and for a happy life, so not your traditional challenge where you need to copy anything I do or post stuff daily. Find what works for you and apply it to your daily life! If you upload videos, tag #shootayogi so I can check your alignment😊)


Do you or have you ever suffered from back pain? I was born with slight scoliosis, and a car accident left my spine in a mess. Growing up I had low back and neck pain pretty much every single day (especially in my teens).

Most of us have suffered from pain in the low back more than once, some of us on a daily basis. All of us can benefit from these very simple exercises - give them a try today! If you have low back pain, practice this either first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed in the evening and stick with it daily until you feel better.

The first one is Viparita Karani, Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (or here, legs up the river fence😊 any “wall” will do!). Come into a squatting position with your outer hip facing the wall. Set your sit bones down and swing your legs up the wall, then wiggle your sit bones as close to the wall as you comfortably can. Flex your feet. If your hamstrings are very tight (one of the biggest reasons we get low back pain in the first place), place a folded up blanket under your tailbone and keep your knees a little bit bent if needed. Relax your lumbar spine and RELAX. Stay for give minutes or more, focusing on your breathing and allowing the tight muscles in the low back to release.

The second one shown is Supta Padangustasana, or Reclined Big Toe Pose. Come lying on your back with your legs stretched out, and bend one knee into your chest. Place a strap or a belt over the ball of the foot (or a dog leash!😊) and use that to help you reach. Extend the leg straight up into the sky, flexing the foot firs. Engage the lifted leg and start to softly draw it closer to your upper body using the strap. Once your in the full pose (you want sensation, not pain), press the ball of the foot up. The back of the head is relaxed on the floor, shoulders down the back, neck soft. If you suffer from intense pain, keep the lower keg bent with the sole if the foot on the ground until you’re comfortable enough to extend it on the ground. Breathe deeply, stay for 2 minutes or as long as you’re comfortable, then switch sides.


The last pose shown is legs in 90-90 and this one is the absolute best one to move into if you’re in intense pain (back spasms etc). Come lying down and place your legs on a chair, backs of your knees on the edge of the chair and your shin bones parallel to the floor. Stay until you’re feeling some relief, take ibuprofen and ice your low back if you’re in too much pain to move.

Let me know how you feel! Soeaking from experience… You do not have to live with pain! Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will help you out. Love and light❤ #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday

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A little post AM practice handstand sesh at the park this morning. Day 1 of @yoga_girl ’s challenge this month was just a quick hop up or “fling” as she calls it, up to handstand. Love that this challenge calls for video! (even if the hashtag is terribly unfortunate) #shootayogi

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#shootayogi challenge day 12 hosted by @yoga_girl “the scissor kick”
#yoga #me #yogi #yogaeverydamnday #love #passion #fitness #handstand #inversion #happy

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“Humidity + Hamstrings = Hanumanasana” @agzyoga Practice 253 of 365 Practice Challenge! #yogagirl #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogangster #yogainspace #yogitoes #redwhiteandblue #independenceday #instagramers #ipwnyogalikearockstar #igyoga #om #pittsburgh @yogaglyphs #kickasana #happyhealthyyogis #gobazirkinvert #feeltheyogahigh #shootayogi #stability #flexible #mayfheforcebewithyogis #madaboutyoga #namaste #hanuman #flow #bendyyogis

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Shoot a Yogi - Day 9 (had such a busy day yesterday I forgot to post! Day 10 coming later today): Try a fearless handstand! This is a great way to get into a handstand without having to kick or use any momentum at all. 100% fearless! Use a wall, or a tree, or anything you can walk your feet up on. Do not kick off the wall, simply use it to find alignment and build strength in all the right places.


Cone to down dog with your heels touching the wall. Walk your feet up and find a pike position (an upside down “L” shape) - you’ll probably need to walk your hands in a little. You want your ankles in line with your hips and your hips in line with your shoulders. Once you’re here, widen through the collar bones, pull your shoulders off your neck by pressing the earth away from you, activate your core and engage the inner thighs. Inhale and lift one leg up (so you’re in a half handstand with support!). Draw the lower ribs in and find a perfect line ankle-knee-hip-shoulder-wrist. Then switch sides. Most important part of this exercise is to keep your shoulders off your neck! Give it a try, it will improve your handstands with no fear of falling❤ #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday (at Denver, CO)

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Shoot a Yogi Video Yoga Challenge - Day 4: Take your practice outside today! Shoot a 15 second clip of you practicing outside. It doesn’t have to be on a paddleboard on freezing cold water… Everything is allowed😊 It’s a beautiful day! Enjoy it! Happy 4th of July guys😘 #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday (at Copper Mountain Resort)

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Happy Fourth! Setting up on the rooftop for firework viewing! Any yogis feeling the freedom to fly!?! 🇺🇸💙❤ #merica #yoga #yogi #yogaeverydamnday #speeadtheyogalove #yogainspace #shootayogi #rooftopyoga #fourthofjuly #fourthofjulyyoga #free #fly #armbalance #flyingpigeon #instayoga #instapose #instafit #fitness #strength #fun #lululemon #yogagirl #dc #gopro

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Shoot a Yogi Challenge Day 1: “The Fling” - kick to handstand! Shot at 710 Ashbury Street, home of The Greatful Dead (in a super slant so bare with me here).

Set your body up correctly before you kick up! Shoulders are aligned right above your shoulders (think plank pose for the upper body, not down dog). Lift the top leg and keep it parallel to the floor, hips squared, foot flexed. Do NOT open your hips wide and do NOT bend the top leg! Firm the triceps in and widen your collar bones - draw your shoulders down your back body. Bend only the standing leg and when you kick, kick the bottom heel in towards your sit bone. Keep the bottom leg in and don’t worry about straightening it out until you’re fully stable!

Use a wall if you’re not steady, and begin with tiny little baby kicks. One inch off the floor counts! Just aim to get a tiny bit if air time, that’s all. If you get all the way up, lengthen your tailbone towards your heels, soften the neck and draw the lower ribs in. Use your core instead of sitting in the joints. Breathe. Come down, switch legs.

15 second clip - go! Everything from a tiny little baby kick off the ground to a full handstand, with or without the wall, counts. Use alignment and technique. Shoot a yogi! #shootayogi

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Shoot a Yogi - Day 7: Crow Pose, two ways.


First shown is “regular” Bakasana, with the knees high up towards the armpits, heels to sit bones, and working towards straight arms. Second one is little crow, with the elbows fully bent and the chest lowered close to the floor. Give both a try! The second one is definitely more accessible if you’re new to this pose. Place your feet on a block if you’re having a hard time getting your knees up, keep the chest and gaze forward and engage your core. Ease your way into the pose - place a blanket in front of you if you’re worried about face planting!


If you’ve got both nailed down, give crow push-ups a try. Lower from high crow to little crow and back - it’s like Navasana on steroids😄 #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday

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Shoot a Yogi - Day 8: Use a friend for balance!


Find a friend, a family member, a loved one… Or even a stranger! Connect in a transition or a pose of choice and support each other fully. Link your breath together, find balance, trust and have fun! Me and @bluewaterlove are smiling all through our river practice today😊 #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday

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Announcing: Shoot a Yogi Yoga Challenge!


Starting today, I will post a 15-second clip of a yoga pose, a transition or an exercise (remember: there are 8 limbs of yoga!) every single day for the month of July. With the video clip I will post a description with an explanation, how to get into the pose, alignment cues, and things to look out for/focus on. Challenge yourself to learn more about your practice and your body MINDFULLY by sharing 15 seconds of your practice with the world! I’ll watch your clips and help you with alignment. Film yourself - shoot a yogi!😄 The hashtag for this challenge is #shootayogi and don’t forget to tag me @yoga_girl in your posts. Every week I will highlight four people that will get a shoutout and some Instagram love😊 Are you with me?? The challenge begins today and we’ll start with “the fling” to handstand. Explanation coming up in the next post (on another San Francisco street…) LOVE! #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday (at Yoga Video Challenge!)

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Shoot a Yogi - Day 13: Fallen Angel (on a giant red rock in the desert!)

Begin practicing this pose with a folded up blanket I front of you so you have something soft to lay your temple on (you want to avoid face planting, for obvious reasons😊).

Begin in side crow or Eka Pada I. You can either float the side elbow or make a little table top to lean the side of your hip onto, depending on what’s easier for you. Keep the gaze forward and your chest will follow. The key is to slide the elbow into the side of the waist so you have space to get your hips up! Full step by step tutorial for this pose is on the blog (rachelbrathen.com/blog).


It sure is HOT in Arizona!!!😅😅😅😋 #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday (at Meteor Crater Rest Area)

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Shoot a Yogi Yoga Challenge - Day 3: The Meditation.


Today, find a place to sit in silence - wherever you are. Follow your breath. Quiet your mind. Relax. Stay present. Challenge yourself to do a five minute meditation or more, and in addition upload a simple 15-second video of you sitting in silence anywhere (the post should preferably not be related to the actual meditation). I’ll post another clip later in a busier spot!

Peace comes from within. Find it today. #shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday (know that you can jump in the #shootayogi challenge whenever you want - this is not your traditional challenge but lots of love involved). Namaste😊🙏 (at Union Square)

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Shoot a Yogi Yoga Challenge, Day 2: The Vinyasa + some tips from Day 1!


You guys did great with The Fling yesterday, but I keep seeing the same issue: many of you are lowering the too leg down to the ground, using momentum to kick up. Don’t do this! Keep the top leg straight and strong, parallel to the ground. The lifted leg is what pulls your entire body up! And once you’re up there; NO BANANA BACKS. Draw your tailbone towards the heels (think a light cat pose action) and the lower ribs in towards the pubic bone. Give it another try! You can post as many videos as you want, and feel free to jump into the challenge whenever you like.

Today, post a video of yourself doing a vinyasa. Align yourself well: slight shift forward over the wrists from plank so you get a 90-degree bend in the elbows when you lower down. Don’t allow your elbows to splay out to the sides but keep them close, and use the strength of the legs. Lengthen your tailbone (I dropped my belly down here when Ringo started pulling on my necklace…) and keep the chest drawing forward. Shoulders ALWAYS off the neck (in plank, chaturanga and down dog) and let your breath guide you. In up dog, press the tops of your feet down and draw the inner ankles towards the midline of the mat. Widen the collarbones as you inhale, and let your core pull you back to down dog when you exhale.


So Ringo will be a part of pretty much all videos from now on… I’ll post a better video from the yoga studio tonight but start posting! Don’t forget to hashtag #shootayogi !! LOVE❤ #yogaeverydamnday (at Ocean Beach, CA)

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Shoot a Yogi Video Challenge - Day 5: Hug someone!


Hug someone for 15 seconds (or more!) - I mean REALLY hug them. Breathe the person in. Feel their heart beating against yours. Give love. Receive the same. Get physical, connect, and don’t be afraid to be intimate.

I chose to hug a whole bunch of people all day long… Hugs heal😊😌❤ Tag #shootayogi so we can all share the same love! If you’re new to this challenge feel free to hop in today because nothing beats a day full of hugs😘

@lindseygo @davetelf #yogaeverydamnday #hugs #love! @wanderlustfest

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Shoot a Yogi - Day 12: Try a Scissor Kick!

Ringo got in the way and I didn’t want to land on him - will do a proper one in the studio after tonight’s class later! Begin in three-legged down dog. Gaze forward and shift done weight into the shoulders so you’re supporting part of your body weight already. Bend the standing knee, kick up keeping the top leg straight, switch legs mid air and try to land the lifted leg as at forward to the top of your mat as you can for Warrior I (or try to tap your wrist and go back to chaturanga). Proper vid sans puppy and boots coming up😄

#shootayogi #yogaeverydamnday #ringothegringo (at Albequerque, NM)

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