Category Archives: All Things Yoga

Helping you to purr through the universe

The dawn of the Digital class

Learning to negotiate COVID-19 imposed measures around the world has shaken most of us to the very foundation. Many of us lost our jobs and had to scramble to find a means of earning a new income stream.  For me, the journey has been positive, allowing me to discover the true potential of what the digital class format can offer.

Having been previously deeply entrenched in the physical – I lived for the daily personal interaction of working with people – I expected to really struggle with transitioning to presenting classes in a digital format.  Yet, as with many things, perception (and more importantly preconceived notions) did not equal reality.  I quickly realised that it is all about mindset – how open you allow yourself to be to change.  Is this not the very pinnacle of yoga practice – to not limit yourself, to keep yourself receptive to change and growth?

Instead of trying to cram as many classes into one day as I could manage, just so I could get to all my students (often leading to intermittent burnout), I find myself much happier and  better balanced now that I can focus energy on class content and delivery.  While physical proximity and touch are fundamental for many of us, the digital format has definitely opened up a host of other alternatives and possibilities.

Even prior to the world-wide COVID-19 crisis, many people struggled getting to a studio to attend physical classes – time commitments, travel considerations, lack of budget, being self-conscious and often simply lazy, being just a few of the reasons.

In the aftermath of lockdown restrictions abating in many countries, people are still currently facing a host of new challenges thrown in the path of physical classes:

  • Having to be health scanned before even being allowed to enter a studio.
  • Facilities having to restrict the number of people they can accommodate at any one time.
  • Class rosters being severely cut to allow for deep cleaning rituals between classes.
  • Class capacity slashed to accommodate new social distancing measures.
  • Having to wear a mask the whole time you’re in public (even when exercising).
  • Equipment having to be continuously sterilized before and after each use, not only leaving sometimes soggy, tacky surfaces (this in itself opening up a host of potential liability issues), but also resulting in many people developing skin allergies to all the sterilizing sprays being utilised.
  • Fear of exposure to the virus, and possible contraction.
  • Loss of income suffered by many during (and even post) lockdown.

This makes the whole current physical class experience less than ideal for many.

I believe the digital class is the way of the future.  It’s convenient in that it allows you to exercise at any time of the day, when it suits you best, even when travelling (so trying to accommodate class rosters becomes void).  You eliminate travel and parking considerations, as you can exercise wherever you are (just find a quiet spot and roll out your mat).  The cost is usually a fraction of physical classes.  Even once the world goes back to “normal” you still have the convenience of always having a class on hand – pop in your earbuds, hook up your phone (or device of your choice) and you’re good to go.

For me, the live-stream format has made it possible to provide a unique class DAILY to multiple individuals (all over the world) at the same time – this is just not possible in the physical world.  I am enjoying so much creative fun.  As a small business entity (literally a one-woman show) creating something new daily takes time, planning and resources. Yet, I firmly believe that the cost versus value proposition of “Yoga with Louise Live Stream” is currently pretty unique in terms of what it actually offers: something new each day (who wants to keep doing the same routine over and over) to keep you inspired, motivated and moving forward.  My live-stream daily classes will undoubtedly be my key focus moving forward.

That’s it for now – see you all for playtime on the mat😉

Till next time – Keep it Light😘

You can contact Louise directly on https://yogawithlouise.pro

What is the best Yoga & Pilates mat to use?

I often get asked what mat I use for Yoga and Pilates? Students wanting to know what the best mat is to use and what they should look out for in a good quality mat?

I don’t believe that there’s a right or wrong here, it’s all really about personal preference. Yoga mats range in thickness: typically on the thinner end of the scale between 3-4mm, and on the thicker end between 5 – 6mm.  I found that when I started yoga my preference was for a thinner mat – I just felt more grounded and secure on the mat, but this changed as my practice deepended.  The more time I spent on the mat, the longer I started playing and the more adventurous I got on the mat, the more I started feeling my bones (think knees, elbows, hip & bum bones, even my the vertebrae – especially during spinal rolls) – a bit more padding was required.

Unfortunately when transitioning to a thicker mat, I found balancing poses a lot more challenging – I often felt like I was sinking into the thick end of a plush carpet and struggled to find my grounding.  I tried out a host of mats over the years, and the problem I found with a lot of them, is that as soon as I started gripping into the mat, they would start flaking and peeling – leaving me with a sorry-ass looking mat that looked like a mouse had been nibbling at it.  This resulted in an often uncomfortable wobbly ride, which only worsened as I started sweating on the mat during more rigorous routines – slip and slide (and not in a good way).

Finding the Manduka Pro mat was like coming home for me – I finally found a mat that checked all my boxes:

This 6mm mat not only provided the cushioning I was looking for (doubling up perfectly for both Yoga and Pilates), but the dense rubber weave still felt like solid “ground” beneath me – balancing poses felt a lot more intuitive.

The mat’s closed-cell surface makes cleaning a breeze, but also appeals to the OCD germaphobe in me – it keeps moisture (think sweat and water when cleaning) from seeping into the mat and providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

This mat has incredible grip! Not only in terms of the mat itself not moving around on the floor once you’ve laid it out, but also in terms of how secure you actually feel on the mat as you begin moving around and sweating on it – the more you use the mat the better the grip becomes.

This mat comes with a lifetime guarantee to not fade, flake or peel.  Sure, I had to spend a bit more but it’s an investment I was more than happy to make.

When I recently started looking around local for suppliers of Manduka I was pleasantly surprised to discover Yoga Essentials. Their pricing was reasonable and didn’t sky-rocket, as did a lot of suppliers, post COVID-19 lockdown.  Their service was friendly, helpful  and super efficient.  In fact I was a little blown away by how fast I received my product. As they are an online service based in Durban, and I’m situated in Cape Town,  I thought it was going to be an uphill battle to receive my order.  I placed my order late on a Friday afternoon and imagine my surprise when I received it first thing Monday morning. I was also able to track my parcel the whole time from pick-up to delivery – great for peace of mind.

If you are serious about your playtime on the mat, I would definitely recommend checking out Manduka (it’s the only mat I use).  They have a host of mat options to choose from, even providing a “Long” length mat for those graced with taller frames:-)

That’s it for now – see you all for playtime on the mat😉

Till next time – Keep it Light😘

Welcome Louise!

We are super happy to announce that Louise of  ‘Yoga with Louise Live Stream’ is joining us as a Brand Ambassador for Yoga Essentials (in fact we were doing extra Sun Salutations in the office this morning!), she is a great asset to our team.
Louise is a seasoned Yoga and Pilates teacher who teaches a fusion of Hatha, Kripalu, Vini and Vinyasa (infused with core Pilates principles). She has 25 years of experience on the Yoga mat. Louise is a firm believer that you must “play where you are”, finding what works best for you and never comparing yourself to anyone else as we are all unique. She encourages students to progress at their own pace, exploring their own boundaries, whilst honouring their own body’s need in each moment.

She admits to being a perpetual yoga student, who loves mindful movement and the physical and mental benefits that it brings!

Louise has an established online Live-Stream daily class service where students can participate in real time or simply catch up later (classes are available 24/7 to do in your own time). She is also available for private classes. You can find out more on her website Yoga With Louise

We will be featuring her with her own section on our Two Cats blog, where we will post news and updates, including product reviews.

We noticed a rather playful and sometimes ‘wicked’ sense of humour that Louise has, so you have been warned!

You can  find her on Facebook, Instagram (Ywl.live.stream), YouTube and Website at :

                    

So welcome Louise –  from all of us at Yoga Essentials and the Yogiverse!

The Yogiverse is a FREE service open to all Yoga studios and teachers (and yogi’s).
You can join the Yogiverse at http://yogiverse.co.za

 

Yoga Time To reset

Time to reset and restore. Legs up the wall. An excellent way to de-stress at the end of a long day. It benefits the kidneys, pelvis, lower back and reduces water retention in the legs. Is excellent for stress and anxiety.

Lay on your back, shimmy your butt along the floor until its fairly close to the wall, place your legs against the wall.

Options:
• Blanket under the lower back
• Knees bent
• Arms beside you, hands to your belly or arms overhead
• Butterfly pose with soles of the feet together and knees out to the sides.

If you enjoyed this sequence and found it beneficial please feel free to make a donation at paypal.me/pennysleinyoga Music by: Beautiful Chorus Song: Breathe It In Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you, Pen xx

DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel, you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.

Yoga for Bikers

PSY yoga is for everyone but this sequence is particularly good for bikers because it allows for more mobility in the IT band, piriformis, lower back, hip flexors, quads, iliopsoas, whole chest and shoulders.

Time to get off your bike 😉 for a moment and do some dynamic stretches before or after your ride or on rest days.

Remember Always make sure not to over stretch. You can do this by listening to the body. When you feel it naturally pausing…then pause. Foam rolling is also excellent for those tight muscles! (More about that later)

Start with a few repetitions and once you’re familiar with the poses increase according to your body’s needs.
• Arm swings
• Standing side stretch
• Standing bow
• Shoulder stretches
• 1 legged quad stretch
• Alternating knee to chest
• Alternating leg lifts
• Standing figure 4
• Hip flexor stretch
• Wide legged forward fold
• Side lunges
• Warrior 2
• High lunge
• Crescent moon
• Childs pose
• Prone twisted scorpion
• Upward facing dog
• Cow and cat
• Half happy baby
• Figure 4
• Twisted figure 4
• Side stretch
• Sacral massage
• Savasana

If you enjoyed this sequence and found it beneficial please feel free to make a donation at paypal.me/pennysleinyoga Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you, Pen xx

DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.

Office, Plane or Chair Yoga

Yoga is good for your immune system. When the body is in a state of stress it produces cortisol which lowers the immune system. A few minutes of yoga every day lowers stress levels, increases circulation and boosts immune system.

Chair yoga is perfect for times when you’re in the office, having to sit for long periods of time or even on a plane. See what space you have around you or what space you can create. Use the furniture or equipment, move your body and get the circulation going.

• Head tilts side to side
• Wrist rolls • Side bend
• Shoulder rolls
• Torso twists
• Cat stretch
• Thoracic rotation with bend
• Chest fly • Eagle arms
• Figure 4 • Ankle rolls
• L-shape
• Calf raises
• L- shape twist and toe touch

Make the sequence longer by repeating each pose a few more times. Always listening to messages the body is giving you. Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga or if you’re in Durban, South Africa book into a PSY class! Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you, Pen xx

DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.

Penny Slein Yoga Sun salutation For Beginners

Strengthen your body with dynamic mindful movement, speed up metabolism and increase circulation. Excellent warm up for runners.

Reach up towards the sun and bring its power and warmth into your body. Surya Namaskar is energizing so best practiced in the morning prior to eating breakfast.
• Mountain Pose
• High Mountain
• Forward Fold
• Lunge
• Downward Dog
• Extended Child’s Pose
• Upward Facing Dog
• Downward Dog
• Lunge
• Forward Fold
• High Mountain
• Mountain

Go at your own pace. Begin with two sun salutations then increase to four, six etc. You can hold each pose for a few breaths or transition with each inhale and exhale. Allow it to become a moving meditation. Let it flow naturally. Listen to your body. If you feel you need more intensity move faster, if you feel you need to slow it down then slow it down, if you feel you need to rest then rest. Remember you create your own sunshine 😉 Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga or if you’re in Durban, South Africa book into a PSY class!
Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you,
Pen xx

DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel, you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.

 

Penny Slein Yoga – Wrist and Shoulder Warm Up

Simple, quick mindful movements for wrists, arms and shoulders. Aiming to mobilize and strengthen the joints and ease pain

Start slowly, increasing the number of repetitions and increase the range of motion accordingly. If you feel any pain then stop. This 5min clip includes wrist rotation, extension and flexion in seated and tabletop positions.

Like, share, save, comment and subscribe. Let me know what aspects of yoga you would like to focus on. Love, light, blessings to you and namaste Pen Xx

Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga or if you’re in Durban, South Africa book into a PSY class! Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you, Pen xx

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DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.

Penny Slein Yoga – 10 min Yoga Abs

Begin with a few repetitions then slowly build up to more.

There are so many ways to strengthen and tone your core and here are a few to get you to make the mind body connection, begin to engage your lower abdominals and whole body. * Pelvic rocks * Crunches * Figure 4 * Figure 4 crunches * Low boat pose * Supine tree * Eagle legs * Plank * Forearm plank * Sphinx * Crocodile – restore and rest Also connect with me on www.pennysleinyoga.com info@pennysleinyoga.com or Instagram @pennyslein_yoga and Facebook Penny Slein Yoga or if you’re in Durban, South Africa book into a PSY class! Namaste, Love, Light and Blessings to you, Pen xx

DISCLAIMER: All content on PSY channel is subject to copyright or other intellectual property ownership by Penny Slein Consulting. The PSY practice is not intended to be, or to replace medical advice. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or in recovery from an operation and/or accident. By using this channel you understand and agree that neither Penny Slein Yoga nor any persons associated with the channel have any liability to you for any injury or loss you may suffer in connection with the content.