Does Your Hair Feel Dry and Overworked?

How about a solution AND a discount?

I teach a lot of yoga.  Sometimes up to four classes in a day.  On top of that, I have my own practice.  This adds up to a lot of showers in a 24-hour period.  And that many shampoos and blow dries does a number on my hair.  Not a day goes by that my hair hasn’t felt dry, damaged, and overworked.

Then one day, all of that changed.  My dear friend (and yogini) Barbara Shreve introduced me to her deep conditioning mask, which she markets under the name Jean Michele.  Can I just tell you, this stuff is heaven in a jar!  It works.  It really, really works.

Hair Repair MaskPer the instructions, I apply the conditioner after using my regular shampoo.  Then I just soak in a hot tub for ten minutes or more to allow the mask time to work its magic.  (I’m convinced the secret is the Argan Oil and Shea Butter.)  After that, I rinse and style as normal.

The result is shiny, hydrated, nourished hair – with no heavy or  greasy feeling.  For me, the effects last for approximately four or five days.  Plus, the Hair Repair Mask is safe for color-treated hair and contains NO Sulfates or Parabens.  LOVE that!

As a former hair stylist and licensed cosmetologist, I’m typically skeptical of hair products, but I am honestly truly grateful to have found this conditioner.  I make it a point to use it once a week now and I WILL be purchasing more when my current supply runs out.

Barbara has been kind enough to extend a special 20% discount to all of my newsletter subscribers.  If you’d like to get the discount but aren’t currently a subscriber to my newsletter, no problem!  Simply send me an email indicating you’d like to be added to my list and I’ll forward you my latest newsletter with the coupon code inside.

This deal is only good until December 9, 2014, so don’t delay!

I think you will love her product as much as I do.  Plus, it’s good karma to support not only small business, but one of our own as well.  Thank you, Barbara!

*I was given my first jar of Jean Michele’s Hair Repair Mask for free.  The comments and opinions in this review are completely my own and 100% true.  This is just me, wanting to share something I love with all of you.

5 Tips to Help Make Your Downward Facing Dog Feel More Restful

ams1Maybe you’ve heard Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) referred to as a resting pose.  Maybe your next thought was “What!?!?…”  The truth is, Downward Facing Dog doesn’t always feel all that restful.  It takes work to hold that position.  However, with just a little bit of fine-tuning, you can bring a sense of zen to the pose.  Here are 5 tips to help you get there:

1.  Ensure the angle of the hip joint equals 90 degrees

The feet and the hands should be equidistant from the hips.  When viewed from the side, the legs and the torso should create a right angle at the hip joint.  If either the hands or the feet are too far forward or too far back, the weight won’t be distributed evenly and the amount of effort required to hold the pose will increase.

ams2To find the proper distance, begin in Plank pose (Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana) with the wrists directly underneath the shoulders and the balls of the feet underneath the heels.  The pelvis should be in line with the shoulders and heels or, in other words, the body should be flat – like a plank.  Without moving the feet or hands, simply lift the hips up and back.  From here, you should be in an ideal Downward Facing Dog shape, but you can always check things out in a mirror just to be sure.

2.  Turn on the muscles in the arms and legs

Engage the muscles in the upper arms and hug them to the bone.  Wrap the triceps (the outer upper arm) down toward the mat as you introduce a slight bend into the elbows (engaging the biceps).  Firm the legs by contracting the quadriceps (the front of the thighs).  Lift the knee cap up as you press the thigh bones back (thereby firing the hamstrings).  Strong arms and legs will help distribute the effort and increase stability in the pose.

3.  Lengthen arms and waist up and back

As you press your hands into the floor, lengthen the arms and the sides of the waist up and away from the palms.  This is the principle of “root and rebound”.  While the hands press down, energy rebounds and travels up the forearms, upper arms, and along the torso.  By taking advantage of this energetic give and take, you can introduce a sense of lightness to your Downward Facing Dog.

4.  Keep the legs weighted down

Root firmly down through the legs.  Visualize your legs as solid tree trunks with roots traveling through the soles of the feet into the floor.  Picture the roots dense and deep.  With this image in mind, allow yourself to stand more firmly into the legs.  As you do so, feel yourself lifting your hips up off the waist, bringing lightness to the arms and hands.

5.  Don’t forget to breathe

Perhaps the most important aspect of any pose, the breath is the tool we use to steady our minds.  Make your inhales and exhales long, smooth, and deep.  Allow the breath to be the thing that focuses your mind and draws your attention inward.  When we are able to calm the citta vrttis (fluctuations) of the mind, we can’t help but abandon thoughts about how hard something might feel.

Follow these 5 simple tips next time you’re in Downward Facing Dog and discover how restful the pose can actually be.  Perhaps you’ll never want to leave!

(Please let me know if you find these types of posts useful.  I’m happy to write more!)

Tantalizing Twists!

Class focus this week will be Tantalizing Twists!

corgi twistOf course, no one can demonstrate how to melt into a twist better than Mr. Bentley!

Come to class and wring out the toxins from your organs and muscle tissue.  When the twist is released, blood flush with oxygen and nutrients rushes back in.

I’m teaching my regular schedule this week, plus subbing the following classes:

Monday, November 3:  Total Woman Studio City @ 10 am
Thursday, November 6:  Total Woman Studio City @ 7 am
Thursday, November 6:  YogaWorks Tarzana @ 9 am

If anything new comes up (which it probably will), I’ll post updates to Facebook and Twitter.

Hope to see you soon!