#PlankTip: Find your “Work Station Pose”

#‎PlankTip‬: Find your “Work Station Pose” (Noah Mazé Yoga)

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Sit up tall through your spine, roll shoulders down and back and pull the lower ribs towards the back body. Ensure the feet are well grounded with at least a 90 degree or more opening at the knee and hip joints. Aim to find a horizontal line through the forearms.
If you catch yourself in bad sitting form, just readjust and start afresh. With one new adjustment or awareness each day, we promise your organs and pipes will be thanking you in no time at all.

#PlankTip: Sitting with Skill for Cancer Patients

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At Plank, we’re all about SWS (Sitting with Skill) this month. If you’re battling cancer or know someone who is, our SWS principles can also be highly beneficial.

#PlankTip: When you practice better alignment when sitting you will align your pipes, helping to remove toxins after chemo. If you have to lie down, consider taking an online #breathing and/or #meditation class to help you learn how to breathe fully, relax your mind and lighten your spirits.

#PlankTip: Learn how to sit with skill

#PlankTip: Learn how to sit with skill

It’s true, most of us spend the day at our desks, slumped over our keyboards or texting/playing on our smartphones. And you wonder why we have back/shoulder/neck pain?

Here are a few #PlankTips that will have you sitting with skill (and ease) in no time at all.

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1) Find Your “Work Station Pose”

In his blog post, Yoga Instructor Noah Maze notes that: “if you are someone who sits in a chair for a good portion of the day, you can make simple adjustments to your posture (and perhaps to the chair itself) so that your spine is in good alignment. In other words, make ‘Work Station Pose’ part of your daily yoga practice.”

#PlankTip: Sit up tall through your spine, roll shoulders down and back and pull the lower ribs towards the back body. Ensure the feet are well grounded with at least a 90 degree or more opening at the knee and hip joints. Aim to find a horizontal line through the forearms.

If you catch yourself in bad sitting form, just readjust and start afresh. With one new adjustment or awareness each day, we promise your organs and pipes will be thanking you in no time at all.

three women laughing plank boston2) Sweat for 30 Minutes Each Day

Experts suggest that we should all be active for at least 30 min. each day. It could be a walk outside during your lunch hour, or a daily yoga or pilates practice to help you improve your alignment and strength – really anything that gets your heart pumping!

#PlankTip: Think of your Yoga Practice as ‘Action with Skill.’ On the Mat, it’s easy to listen to the instructor and work on these actions (aka postures) with an awareness of your alignment. However, we at Plank challenge your Off The Mat practice to be just as skillful. Be aware of your alignment in any physical activity, or the activity known as skillful sitting.

istock_000017252298xsmall_custom-06b7405a964bdfd0ae2f1a8a5f526dc5a27e5933-s3-c853) Take Frequent Breaks

If you work a job that involves a lot of sitting at a desk for several hours a day, make sure you are getting up and walking around/standing every 20 min. It will make a difference! Check out this article from NPR for more on the topic.

#PlankTip: If you get so wrapped up in your work that you forget to do this, consider purchasing an electronic device, like a Fitbit, that reminds you to get up and move frequently.

#PlankTip: Take your Yoga off the mat this summer!

Take your Yoga off the Mat!

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Take your yoga practice off the mat this Summer and try something new! It’s a great way to bond with friends and enjoy the warm summer temps and sunshine.

Here are our Top 4 Outdoor Yoga Practices of 2014:

1) Slackline yoga (or slackasana) has been described as “distilling the art of yogic concentration.” To balance on a 1″ piece of webbing lightly tensioned between two trees is not easy, and doing yoga poses on it is even more challenging. Yet despite the seemingly impossible nature of the act, it is achievable by almost anyone with a little bit of perseverance and patience. Check out our Ambassador, Kirk Lautensleger practicing his crescent lunge on a slackline. For more info and for great workshops coming your way, visit YogaSlackers.

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2) SUP (standup paddle board) Yoga is asana practiced on 10- to 12-foot-long boards in the most serene of settings: an ocean bay, a glassy lake, even a slow-moving river. In recent years, water-loving yogis have embraced SUP yoga as a practice that brings a sense of joyful freedom to an otherwise earth-bound yoga practice. For more, check out this great article on SUP Yoga from Yoga Journaland keep your eyes peeled for SUP yoga classes and workshops in your area, especially if you live close to the ocean, or local lakes and ponds.

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3) Horseback Yoga
“At first glance, yoga on horseback may seem like an unlikely merging of opposites. However, we see that the core principles of yoga – cultivating union, oneness, and wholeness – are the very qualities that make an equine-rider partnership great.” ~Jessie Tierney, RYT.

Horseback Yoga teaches you how to unite with your equine partner in a meaningful way, through calming your mind, conscious breathing, heightening awareness, and gently opening tight spaces in the body. Jessie (quoted above) teachesHorseback Yoga classes in WA but we’ve also heard of classes in Stowe, VT and in other farming communities. What an amazing practice!

#PlankTip of the Week

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#PlankTip ~ To create a safer and broader range of motion for your shoulders, it works for the hands to connect ridiculously more to the mat than you think.

At Plank, we won’t hold you up, unless you work harder to construct more solid poses.

Sloppy hands = Sloppy Arms = Sloppy Poses.

 

 

 

 

 

For more insightful Plank Tips, make sure to follow us on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/wellheeledguru/ and Twitter: @PlankYogaMats.

Want your own Plank Yoga Mat? Visit www.plankdesigns.com today!

Why Plank isn’t interested in creating the grippiest yoga mat ever…

Plank’s Connect Yoga Mat are aimed at yoga practioners who are interested in taking their yoga practice to the next level. Bla, bla, bla… I know you’ve possibly heard me, as well as, some other yoga mat company say this before, so my practice is to, stop. However it is still a fact that it matters to me that Plank mat users know I really do care that each and everyone of you is able to find solidity, security, power and ease in poses when you use our mats. But how can this be if Plank mats aren’t super grippy.

When you practice on your tradionally grippy yoga mat or the first time you use a Plank Yoga Mat and you feel heavy in your shoulders or are collapsing onto your wrists, or if you were to practice without a mat you would slip, consider more than likely, it’s you who is the problem, not the mat and that there is more to learn to construct a pose for it feel effortless and light. Our customers do not want to rely on a grippy yoga mat that will hold them in poses even if the poses are poorly constructed. Our users are more interested in learning what occurs on a bio-mechanical level when the actions of specific body parts connects to a yoga mat and how the quality of this contact, has a dramatic impact on the correct formation of the body shapes created in a yoga practice.

Innovation in the yoga mat industry has been nominal, the traditional mindset is to create grippier and grippier yoga mats, however it is worth considering that any product that makes an activity easier without a system for self awareness or learning, has the potential to slow down the learning curve and could contribute to concerns of increased injuries.

With the expansion of yoga and yoga infused fitness and well being methodologies, some of the pose study/education is side stepped, as yogis want to push themselves, often cutting educational corners, to be able to do some of the more ‘challenging’ poses.

Plank Yoga Mats are designed with a controlled slip and grip curve ball, to be deliberately challenging.

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At Plank, we sell to those who are interested in body to mat contact quality to create solid poses…

At Plank…

  • We are asking the user to slow down, to check in and listen to the real conversation the body is having with the mind.
  • We sell to those who are interested in studying what it means to be present, to really hear what needs to occur physically, in the moment, at the body to mat intersection, to make a pose stronger, easier and more expansive.
  • We sell to those who care to learn and who are in awe and wonder about how little we know about the amazing machine of the human body and mind.
  • We sell to those who are curious & recognise that the study of our hands & feet when poses are constructed, is never ending and there is something new to learn every time, our hands & feet touch the yoga mat.
  • We sell to those who recognise that with a little machinery awareness & alignment, amazing things are possible…

 

Plank is the the only yoga mat company that openly wants users to slip, as we believe the person that does the learn the lesson from falling or slipping, is the one who has the capacity to grow their practice the most… and we do understand that sometimes you are skeptical or don’t want to learn any more or that you’ve found the mat that holds you securely in place and being stuck on a particular grippy mat (no brand names mentioned) that although limiting, is just perfectly fine for now.

We trust, being the open, always present and curious yogi that you are, you will come and find us, when you’re ready to take this on… If you need an additional nudge, we have a Father’s Day BOGO offer. We also love to hear from skeptics, so do be skeptical, we love skeptics, they are the favourite learners and advocates

PS… For the bloggers, if anyone knows how I can get rid of the repeated Title on the blog page opener or the ‘[empty]’ notation below, send me a note, that would be just dandy too…

We’re BOGO for Father’s Day – Buy One Mat, Get One Free!

We know Dad deserves only the best…

 

So get him a gift that will empower him to feel strong, flexible and mentally clear year round: aPlank Yoga Mat! There's nothing more life changing than a regular yoga practice, so encourage him to get on the mat, no matter what his age or fitness level.

Pick up a Plank Yoga Mat today for Dad, and for a limited time, GET ONE FREE for another important man in your life. PYM's are available in 3 bold designs that are sure to spice up and solidify his yoga practice.

Visit www.plankdesigns.com and use code DADBOGO14 at checkout for BOGO savings!

 

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When Dad finally agreed to go to yoga class…

Source: doreen

When I asked my mum to come to yoga class, I thought Dad would use the time to do some work he always seems to have to do. So I was thrilled that my dad agreed to come too…

My parents live in Brunei. Where? Exactly, I respond.

Anyway, not sure if you’ve experienced this when you haven’t seen loved ones for a long time, especially parents, but many emotions come to mind & heart. Joy and gratitude of course, they travelled all the way from a country I admittedly don’t know where it is, to spend time with us and then some sadness too. What struck me first was to see how much they had shrunk in stature and as my mind recognised the reality of what that means, I couldn’t stop the tears. For children and adolescents, with periods of time of not seeing one another, strength and height is often first observed. This too was noticeable for my parents, however, this time, their seemingly diminishing height got to me and for me, it had to stop or at least slow down.

No more suggesting how beneficial yoga is for the nth time. It was time to be intentional and actually drag them to class, kicking, screaming and/or complaining, if necessary.

I explained to them how their everyday activities, like sitting or reactions to pain, can cause the body to contract, the bones & muscles to collapse and with a bit of awareness, we actually do have the ability to affect this & make small changes that can correct this seeming inevitability.

That being said, I could see a mixture of head nodding, ahas and glazed eyes, so I decided to use the Wine Analogy Tool. I can explain forever all the nuances, the whys and the flavours of one of my favorite Proscecco’s, and you may mentally bookmark it, to potentially buy some, however if I really want you to understand what I’m talking about, it is simply quicker and more effective to buy a bottle and make you try it with me. Here’s the link, just in case… 😉

So, I brought them to a yoga class which could show them the precise biomechanics I wanted them to bodily experience, a class that enables them to understand what occurs when they collapse their internal structure and then comparitively show them tools that can conversely correct these unknown body habits. Thus, I took them to Down Under Yoga‘s Iyengar Yoga class with Nadja Rafaie.

With no yoga gear, I was deliberate to set my parents up at the front of class with a curious mind, and yes, they did try to sneak off to the back of the room. My dad is a professor at Brunei University so I used the Education Card and reminded him that students who sit at the front of class and ask lots of questions are the best learners.

Nadja took us through a series of tools that would provide ease, strength and understanding through specific alignment instruction. In Iyengar Yoga we spend a lot of time in Downward Dog, as it is used as a ‘control/comparison pose,’ to review what was learnt when constructing a given pose. We then check in to see if the new body technology provided ease or made a difference to our control pose, Downward Dog. For beginners and even long time practioners, an extended hold in DD can feel unsafe due to the possibility of sliding, or feel heavy and weight bearing on the wrist, shoulders and neck, if not taught correctly. However, when I looked over to my parents mats, there they were, two little determined learners in their everyday clothes and upside down U’s, moving towards upside down V’s, working on their bodies, unaware of my concerns.  

Cautiously I asked, so what did you think?

Mum: Yeah it was good, I now get what you mean when you say I can lift my bones off my joints. Also I’ve tried to do Downward Dog before, but I can’t hold it for long due to my rheumatoid arthritis, however, today I was surprised that although it was work, I didn’t notice any pain in my wrists. Can we buy some of Nadja’s DVDs?

Dad: Oh wow, that is very good stuff. I can see it would be helpful for my golf.

To me, that was a euphoric ‘WOW, so Totally Awesome’… and I couldn’t be happier that they’re starting to get what I get every time I take some pose study time on my mat.

#PlankTip ~ If you’ve been trying to get someone who is important to you to try yoga and the answer has been, No or a glazed disinterest, instead of getting upset, frustrated and giving up. (Been there.) Choose to hear it as a, No, Not For Now or that I haven’t learnt yet how to make the benefits relevant… and, Ask Again…

If like me, you’re not OK to wait, (my parents were only in town for a few days), AND it really matters, try this other #PlankTip ~ Dragging with Care, works…

And of course, I’d love it, if along with getting your Dad (or mum) to a yoga class, you took advantage of our Buy One Get One free Father’s Day offer, however if after reading this, we get one more dad (or mum) to a yoga mat, preferably a Plank Yoga Mat (however any mat will do), then you would make their day and life and mine too.

-Doreen, Plank Founder

 

Father’s Day is Coming… Give Dad the Gift of Yoga!

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Father's Day is just around the corner on Sunday, June 15th! 

Give Dad something that will empower him to feel strong, flexible and mentally clear year round…a Plank #Yoga Mat. There's nothing more life changing than a regular yoga practice so get him started now! 

Pick up one today at www.plankdesigns.com.

#FathersDay #Broga #yogaeverydamnday

Plank’s 30% Sale Extended through May 24th!

Doreen Mat Purse further away

Our 30% OFF #Sale on #Yoga Mats & Accessories is still going strong until May 24th!


Head on over to www.plankdesigns.com to pick up a little something special for yourself today – you deserve it! Use online code 2014MOM at checkout.