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how injuries can help you learn more about your practice

how injuries can help you learn more about your practice

When you have a regular yoga practice (or any other physical pursuit) getting an injury can be incredible disheartening. You’re forced to change or stop your regular routine and it cannot only make you feel physically different but it can change your mood as well. But, like anything in life, we can use injuries (big and small) as a way to learn more about not only our bodies but also ourselves. Here are some of the ways we can start to learn more about what’s happening.

Our injuries teach us about how we’re using our body  

One of the more obvious things that happen when we get injured is that there is a greater focus on that part of the body all of a sudden. It becomes really clear how and when we use that particular muscle or joint. This can teach us if we’re using it in an incorrect way or perhaps not engaging certain muscle around it for support. Or simply highlight to us how much we use certain things. For example a wrist injury can remind us of how much we use our wrists in yoga and perhaps encourage us to warm them up before class and be mindful of overloading them during a practice – taking rest when they feel tender.

It can encourage a more well rounded approach to health

Sometimes injuries indicate that we are too focused on one particular type of movement or style of class. For example we might be doing too much yang (yinyasa) and not enough restorative (yin or yoga tune up) or it might even demonstrate that we are doing too much yoga and not enough strengthening. Depending on our body’s weaknesses and where it needs more support. This can remind us that to be healthy in body and mind, sometimes it means a more broad approach to health and wellbeing.

Our injuries also teach us about our habits

Often injuries come because we push through our limits. We have a tendency to ask more from ourselves all the time. And sometimes that comes with a cost. When we are injured we are forced to either slow down or change our usual ways of doing things.  It teaches us that rest is an important part of a healthy body and mind. And if we let it, it can help us figure out where else in our lives we are pushing and where we might be able to scale back.

It can teach us to listen more to our bodies

We’ve all done something in a yoga class that didn’t feel quite right but we did it anyway, right? Often those are signals from our body telling us that we shouldn’t be in that shape. For whatever reason. Maybe our bones are made up differently, or we have a weakness or tightness somewhere. But if that happens, listen to those little cues instead of pushing through. Our philosophy at Warrior One, listen to your body first and the teacher second. Injuries can remind us that listening in is more important than being in a perfect pose.

How Yoga Can Bring People Together

How Yoga Can Bring People Together

Sometimes yoga can seem like something you do alone. You go to your own mat, you move, breath, flow, and you’re in your own body. Makes sense right? But yoga has a beautiful power of bringing people together. Even if the practice itself can be done on our own. Take our little yoga community for instance? A beautiful collection of teacher, students, and friends who share a common love and passion. So how does this ancient practice bring people together so easily?

Shared experience

Something amazing happens when we share experiences with other people. Whether we know them already or not. And that shared experience could be the same class together, or the same interest in making it to your mat regularly. This automatically opens up so many avenues for conversation, for sharing what you’ve learnt, or asking for advice. It brings down the walls a little and allows us to interact with people we might not usually. Plus if you’re practicing Acro, you’ll be able to share the sensations and trials of new and exciting poses. 

Trust

Yoga is a physical, emotional, and spiritual practice. You have to, in some capacity, be open and vulnerable in the yoga room. This automatically allows us to build and develop trust with those around us. From fellow students, to our teachers. And if you’re literally practicing together in Acro Vinyasa, you have to be willing to hand over trust of your physical body to another person, which can be incredibly liberating and powerful.

Sharing of knowledge

Sharing knowledge is one of the best ways to become closer with those around you. Sharing knowledge both ways. Whether it’s the people in class with you, your teachers, those at home who might not have done a lot of yoga before, share what you know and be humble enough to let others do the same. It’s amazing how many teachers will tell you they learn the most from their students. When it comes to acro vinyasa, having a partner who’s willing to help and share is amazing, it allows both parties to grow and develop together. And maybe together they can learn something completely new.

Play

As adults we rarely play. Play is an act that we complete for pure joy, not because we think there is a desirable outcome. And sometimes we have to let our practice be play. Just for the pleasure of movement or breathing deeply, of letting go of the thoughts. And when you allow yourself to do that with others, the joy just spreads. And what perfect way to embrace play than with Acro yoga. Embrace the unknown, do it for the love of trying new things, not because you need to perfect anything.

Five Yoga Poses You Can do at Your Desk

Five Yoga Poses You Can do at Your Desk

Your yoga practice doesn’t need to be an hour long to benefit your body and your mind. And we understand that sometimes time gets away from you and you don’t make it to your regular class. So we’ve come up with some simple stretches and exercises you can do at your desk (or in a chair, anywhere). Perfect for when you’re at the office or not able to make it to your yoga mat.

Forward Fold

Forward folds are really calming on the entire system. This is a perfect shape if you’re feeling stressed, or just tense. A very simple shape, it can be done anywhere. With your feet planted on the ground, sit towards the front of your chair. Bring your feet to about hip distance apart. Hinging from the hips, allow yourself to fold as far over your legs as you can. Allow your arms to dangle down and let your chin fall towards your chest. Stay for a few breaths and allow yourself time to slowly unravel to come out.

Figure four

This is a great shape to help open up your hips. With your left foot planted on the ground, place your right ankle on your left knee. Your right knee should be falling towards the ground and out wide to the right. You can stay upright, or if you would like to deepen the stretch in the hips, glutes, and thigh, you can fold your chest forward over your legs. Then repeat on the other side.

Seated Cat Cow

Cat cow is a really nice shape to take if your chest and back are feeling tight. It’s also very simple to do and brings some nice movement into the body after sitting for a long time. Again, place your feet on the ground and take your hands to the front of your knees. Using the support from your hands, as you inhale lift your chest up and forward, then as you exhale round your spine, bringing your chin to your chest. Repeat for as many rounds as you like.

Seated Twist

Twists are a really nice way to get rid of any kinks that build up in your back from sitting all day. They are also nice and calming on the nervous system when done in a more restorative way. Place your feet on the ground, then with a tall spine, take your left hand to your right knee and your right hand to the back of your chair, using your core and a little effort from the hands, twist yourself around to the right hand side. Use your inhale to lengthen the spine towards the ceiling and your exhale to twist deeper. Then repeat on the other side.

Breathing exercises

Yoga doesn’t have to include the asana or movements. You can simply sit and breathe deeply for a few minutes to change how you’re feeling, especially if you’re feeling a little stressed or anxious.

Staying Cool this Summer with Ayurveda

Staying Cool this Summer with Ayurveda

Staying cool in Summer can be a challenge, especially here in Melbourne where the temperatures really soar. But if we turn to the yogis for some advice, we can find the ancient ayurvedic practices have a lot to say on this topic. Ayurveda works on three types of energies and characteristics, referred to as doshas. Pitta (heating, fiery, aggressive), kapha (slow, heavy, wet), and vata (airy, fast, movable). When it comes to summer, there is no surprise that pitta is what is dominant in the environment. So, to cool ourselves we have to calm the pitta energy. So what does ayurvedic medicine tell us to do when we feel hot and bothered?

Turn the shower to cold

Turn your phone off. Switch the shower to cool (not freezing), and let the temperature of the water cool down the temperature of your body. Make it a temperature that your can tolerate so you’re not getting flustered while in there, but as cold as you can comfortably go. This will help your body calmly cool down.

Oil self massage

Ayurvedic tradition often looks at oil massage for a range of reasons. It can revitalize the body, it can aid with digestion, and depending on the types of oils you use it can balance out the doshas. For summer when we’re trying to cool pitta, coconut oil is a great choice. And most of us already have some in the cupboard, making it an easy morning ritual.

Legs up the wall

Another cooling practice that is easy and simple. Either on the ground or even in bed, sit yourself next to the wall and extend your legs up, supported by the wall. Let yourself relax, use very little effort. And simply let the energy flow back down your legs. Sometimes our feet and legs can get heavy and tired, this is the perfect practice for relieve those symptoms. But it also calms and cools the entire system.

Do less with your day

The pitta dosha is fiery, busy, and agitated. If we want to balance out that energy within our minds, it can be really beneficial to try to fit in less in our day. And be happy with that. Put two or three things on your to do list and that’s it. It will allow you to calm mentally which will always help us calm down physically.

Swap a vinyasa class for a yin class

We can always use our physical yoga practice to find more balance. When it’s hot and we’re revved up, sometimes we can feel like a vinyasa practice, but that’s just going to increase the heat. Instead try to swap out a faster practice every now and then for a yin or more restorative practice. Yin has a lovely calming and cooling effect on the body and the mind.

New Year New Feelings

New Year New Feelings

As the New Year gets well underway, a lot of us are reaching for goals and new year’s resolutions. To make this year better or to improve something. And we can’t argue with that. We love things getting better and better. But, sometimes blindly setting goals without knowing the ‘why’ behind them can leave us feeling depleted, demotivated, and back where we stared.

What can be the problem with setting goals?

Goals are amazing motivators, when they work. And when they don’t they can end up making us feel like we’ve failed. Or we simply don;t try. Why is this the case? Have you ever set a goal, achieved it, and then wondered why you don’t feel what you wanted to feel?

Often goals are things that we THINK will make us FEEL how we want to feel. For example, the age old example of this is “I want to lose 5kg” you do and then you want to lose more. Because the goal isn’t to lose weight it’s to feel better in your own skin and confident in how you look. You see?

On top of this, sometimes we set goals, think about how daunting they are, get demotivated, stop trying, and end up back where we started.

What can help us set motivating, heart filled goals?

For goals to motivate us, they need to be of a high value point for us. Meaning we value the outcome a lot. For whatever reason. But it’s also been shown that to move towards a goal, we have to believe that we can actually achieve it. So we must value the outcome and believe it’s possible. Then we are more likely to stick to the goal.

But on top of this, the goals should be around how you want to feel, in order to limit the chances of us getting to the end or ‘destination’ and not feeling any better. Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel good about our lives, rather than just have them look good.

How can we set these goals that will enrich our lives?

Take some time to sit down and notice what your gut reaction is to goals. Is it lose 5kg, be able to do a yoga pose, get a promotion. The list is so so long.

Once you have that list, write down how you think these goals will make you feel and notice, if in fact, that’s what you want to bring into your life instead. Then write a list of the things that already help you feel that way.

Take these goals and feelings and think about how much you value these things. Are they simply things you THINK you should want. Or do you actually think they’ll enrich your quality of life. Plus, is it realistic? And we don’t want you to stop that blue sky thinking, but if you’re going big, set interim goals as well to keep that pesky distractible mind on track.

So what can we take away from this?

Ok we know this sounds like a complex process. But here are some questions to ask.

How do you want to feel?

How can you bring more of that into your life?

What needs to change in order to bring more of that into your life?

What do you really value on this list?

What can be broken down into achievable chunks?

Now, go forth and make 2018 full of heart.

Giving This Festive Season

Giving This Festive Season

The festive season has officially arrived. The trees are going up, decorations are a plenty, and the parties and get togethers are filling up the diaries. But another thing that tends to happen this time of year is a lot of gift giving. Presents are piling up under trees all around town. While this can be a beautiful way to show people how much you care and how well you know them, sometimes presents are just given because we think they should be given. And often it’s a lot of money being thrown around for things people don’t need. So perhaps this year we can consider giving a few different things, when gifts don’t feel right. How about…

Gifting your time

This time of year can be very busy. And people often feel overwhelmed. Instead of giving someone a present they don’t need, how about you give them some of your time. To help with cooking, to go for a walk with them, or to help them look after the kids for a few hours so they can get things done. The list is endless.

Gifting your energy

This one is especially important for the little ones in your life. Sometimes all kids want is for you to play with them. To run around the backyard, to read books, to build things, or to create things. And sometimes when you’re really busy, this can be challenging. But when you think about it – your time and energy is the best gift your kids can get. They will love it and you will too.

Gifting your presence and attention 

It’s easy to give a gift. It’s a lot harder to give someone your undivided attention and be truly present with them. But being truly present and with someone is one of the best things we can do. Whether we’re sitting over coffee or a walk or whatever it is, put your damn phone away. Listen to them, really listen, and not to think of a response, but to hear what they’re saying. Allow yourself to be completely with them in the moment. And we promise you’ll get just as much out of it.

Gifting of your love and support

Sometimes knowing someone is there for you is the greatest gift you can get. Knowing your friends are there and would drop everything to be by your side. In the good and the bad. Write someone a beautiful card and tell them how much you value them and how important they are to you. It’s incredible how often people don’t realise how much they mean to you, don’t leave them wondering.

Considering a Yoga Teacher Training?

Considering a Yoga Teacher Training?

We’re very excited to be running our inaugural 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2018. Dustin, Nova, and the teaching tribe at Warrior One will be guiding a small group of students through a training program that is carefully designed for students who want to deepen their practice as well as for those students who wish to become teachers themselves. The course will dive deep into philosophy, asana (the poses), sequencing, pranayama (breathing), anatomy, meditation, business, and a whole lot more. The trainings include two intakes in 2018; a 1 month intensive OR 6 x weekend immersions over a 6-month period to fit in with your lifestyle.

This training will leave you with the ability to teach others, if that’s something that you want. But becoming a teacher isn’t the only reason to undertake a teacher training. The benefits of a training are far beyond the qualifications that you leave with.

Whether you think you want to become a teacher, or not, here are some of the best things to come out of a yoga teacher training course.

Your own practice changes and develops, dramatically

When you undergo a teacher training, you learn a lot about the poses themselves – how we keep our body safe and aligned in each shape, the energetics of poses, and what the poses do for our body. Once you start to understand the poses on a deeper level, you start to move into them in new ways. Whether you develop a deeper body awareness making them approachable or you understand where you’ve created habits in your practice, making the simplest of shapes very hard all of a sudden, the way you approach poses will shift.

In addition to this, your ‘practice’ whether that’s physical, or more about breathing or meditation, or even how you interact with the world can shift just as dramatically. A lot of us begin with a physical practice and a training highlights that there’s so much more to learn and experience. Whether it’s learning how the yogi interact with others and how they treat themselves, or leaning what meditations work for you, or how to use breathing to change how you feel, often your ‘practice’ evolves into something more holistic.

You learn so much about yourself

Learning the ancient teachings of the yogis is a special thing to do. It uncovers a whole lot that might otherwise stay hidden. When you dive head first into the philosophy of yoga, you learn about things like non-violence, non-attachment, honestly, stealing. And a lot more. When you take these concepts and put them into content it your daily life, you see things through a new lens. You also start to unravel the habits and tendencies that have been driving you for years. You then have the chance to change them if you want. This is just the beginning.

An intensive training will challenge you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Any response to that is a chance to learn more about what you do when challenged and who you are.

You get a whole new community to learn and develop with after the training ends

When you go through something intense with other people, you develop a closer relationship faster than usual. This gives you a whole new group of people with shared experiences that you can speak to, learn from, help, and support. And this goes on long after the training ends. Once you go back out into the world, it’s amazing to have people who understand where you’re at and what you’re feeling.

It opens up the doors for further learning, development, or teaching

An initial teacher training helps you really understand what you want. Whether you want to deepen your practice and that’s it, whether you want to learn more about particular areas of the practice, or perhaps that you want to teach. If you’re not sure, the training will be the best thing to help you decide.

For more information please click here or you can apply by emailing us at info@warrioroneyoga.com.au

How To Continue to Practice While You’re Away on Holiday

How To Continue to Practice While You’re Away on Holiday

This time of year is all about getting those last bits of work done, time off, family, friends, parties, holidays, and anything in between. Whether you’re still working throughout or getting away for weeks with family, this time of year can be a challenging one when it comes to consistency in our practice. Our practice helps us to stay happy, healthy, and connected so it’s something that we want to continue year-round. Here are some of our tips and tricks for keeping our practice up, from asana to meditation to simply being present; it all counts towards a calmer and happier self throughout the holiday period.

Listen to your body

This is really number one. Sometimes when we are stressed and busy a strong and dynamic vinyasa practice isn’t what we need, perhaps a slow yin-style practice is just what the doctor ordered. But also if we’re away and rested and filled with energy, a vinyasa practice might fill us up. Listen to your body and always move in a way that makes sense for you on any given day. With no expectations of what that has to be. A nourishing practice is one that helps us feel better, so start with how you’re feeling and go from there.

Get appy

Some of us love to get on our mat and move to the beat of our own drum, but some of us find that very challenging. For those of us who want to practice asana while on holidays and away from the studio but need some guidance, an app or a website can be really helpful. Some of our favorites include Yoga Glo, Cody App, and Gaia TV. These sites and apps have world-renowned yoga teachers guiding you through one off classes, series that focus on particular things, as well as beginner classes and even meditations. There’s something for every stage of your practice.

Remember presence

One of the most important parts of our practice is to be mindful and present in what’s going on. Sometimes that means our practice for the day is being 100% in the moment with the people we’re with, the situations that arise, and wherever the day takes us. If that means no formal practice takes place, so be it. Remember that you don’t have to sit on your yoga mat to have practiced that day.

Five minutes is better than no minutes

When we’re away from our normal routine, time doesn’t always feel the same. And we don’t always have an hour or more to dedicate to our practice. So whatever the time you have, use it for whatever your body needs in that moment. From five minutes to 90 minutes.

Get outside in nature

Connecting to nature is a huge part of feeling part of something, connecting back to the grounding nature of our practice, and healing the body and mind. Wherever you are use the great outdoors to help you feel more connected with your practice. Whether you roll your mat out on the deck, meditate by the ocean, or simply get present with the trees around you, nature is one of our best tools. Enjoy it.

Our Favourite Yoga Reads

Our Favourite Yoga Reads

The art of study is a big part of the yoga tradition. Both study of the self – how we behave, think, act, but also study of the scriptures. While back in the day the scriptures often meant more tradition texts, we can expand on that idea these days and explore a range of books to help us continue to learn and develop. We find that when we read books that make us ask questions we can both study the texts themselves but also use them to study ourselves. If you’re looking for a new book or two, here are some of our favourites, for a range of reasons.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

This book is one all yogis must read at least once in their life. It really gets you to look at yourself, your habits, your thoughts, and your emotions. It uses mindfulness and meditation teachings to help you to tap into the present moment in a way that helps to let go of pain, let go of the past, and embrace the present moment as well as embrace happiness.

Happy Yoga by Steve Ross

Steve Ross is known for his lighthearted yet deep understanding of the yogi path. A musician turned monk turned yoga teacher, Steve doesn’t dictate in his teachings, but rather shares knowledge he’s gained through direct experience. His book talks about typical thoughts and situations that hold us back and why we don’t need them anymore. 

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras are an essential read for all yogis looking to learn more about the practice and ancient teachings themselves. And while the book itself is big and can be somewhat overwhelming at times, each sutra is only one line. This line is then spoken about in detail. But it makes the content digestible for any one. 

The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life by Twyla Tharp

This is a very interesting, helpful, and thought provoking book for anyone who wants to use or understand their own creativity. While creativity is often thought of as a gift that is dropped in at different points of our life, Twyla Tharp suggests that it is instead a habit that needs to be practiced, daily. She comes from a 35-year career in dance and choreography and discusses how she used this process to create what she has created. It’s a brilliant tool for those looking to teach yoga as well.

The Prophet by Kahil Gibran

Sometimes wonderful and thought provoking prose is all we need to start the thinking and discovering process. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in The Prophet. With phrases like “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give” and “much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter poison by which the physician within you heals your sick self”, you’ll find it hard to not start to study your own behaviours and beliefs.

How to Maintain Your Practice When You’re Busy

How to Maintain Your Practice When You’re Busy

Heading to yoga daily can be easy when you don’t have a whole lot else going on. But as soon as life fills up, whether it’s due to work commitments, looking after a growing family, or even just a busy period, it gets a whole lot harder. Here are some of our tips and tricks for keeping your practice a part of your life when it feels like it’s becoming too hard to do so.

Allow your practice to look different 

Often we get stuck in our ways. Your routine used to be one hour of vinyasa yoga a day. So when we don’t achieve that, all of a sudden it feels like failure. But when it comes to yoga, especially, there is so much more that is a part of a daily practice. Whether you commit to 15 minutes of poses a day instead of a full hour, or whether you allow meditation just before getting our of bed to be a part of your daily practice, or even five minutes of breathing. It’s ok for our ‘practice’ to change and evolve depending on our time and energy levels. And be ok with breaking it up. Five minutes of breathing at lunchtime, 20 minutes of asana once the kids have gone to bed, and 10 minutes of meditation as you go to bed. All of a sudden you’ve done 35 minutes of yoga and it only took a small commitment here and there. 

Make it a priority

When you’re short on time it’s very easy to cut things from your to do list. Usually the things you do for yourself. But when you’re at your best, you can be your best for your family and those around you, which will benefit them even more. Once you establish what is achievable, even it is 10 minutes a day, commit to that and make it a priority in your day. Otherwise it will easily start to slip. Book your classes a week ahead so you have a plan and a level of accountability, we suggest adding your classes in your calendar as a nonnegotiable practice. 

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