My Body is Changing

My body is changing...and that’s OK! I used to measure my year over year success in yoga (and fitness) by increased strength, flexibility and weight loss. I essentially thought I was invincible going into a hard yoga pose without warming up and just treating my my body like it could never fail me.

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Melissa EckmanComment
Side Plank Variations

When I first started taking yoga I hated thinking if I couldn’t do the EXACT yoga pose the instructor (or everyone in the room) was practicing, that I was a failure. I would get so hard on myself and it would hinder me from showing up to classes. I don’t want this to happen to any of you so I want to remind you of 2 important things:

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Melissa EckmanComment
Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana)

Splits can be so challenging and require a mix of proper form, flexibility and strength to master them. Many times I see people practicing the wrong form which will hinder them from reaching their goals and increasing flexibility. Here are the form mistakes:

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Melissa EckmanComment
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svasana)

In class we often hear that DFD (downward facing dog) is a resting pose which makes us think we can just sink into it causing pain and discomfort. However when done properly - DFD should feel lengthening & relaxing.

Below is what you may be doing wrong in DFD (the before photo) and how to fix it (the after photo):

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Am I Losing Flexibility?

Am I losing flexibility? This is a very real question I asked myself in yoga class yesterday when I could barely bend in half during a forward fold.

When I first started my Instagram account, appearing flexible was so important to me. I wanted to force my body into as many positions as possible to prove myself as an advanced yogi. My priorities were always physical advancement and I never put as much as an emphasis on how I was feeling mentally or on taking care of my body. 

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Melissa EckmanComment
Center Splits (Samokanasana)

I LOVE splits because they release tension in your hamstrings, help lengthen your muscles and improve core strength & posture! In the "before" photo above there are some major issues here that could cause pain, discomfort and hinder you from going deeper in your splits:

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10 Uses for a Yoga Block

I love to use blocks in my yoga practice for so many different reasons: they bring the ground closer to you so you can feel an amazing stretch, help to increase flexibility, and  - most importantly - reduce injury!

Here are 10 poses you can try right now with a block:

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