Karma Classes: Give a Little to Your Heart . . . and Your Brain

Need some good karma in your life? Partake in the UBC Yoga Club’s Karma Class on Saturday starting at 1pm. Our Karma Classes are by donation, and all proceeds go to a particular charity or organization dependent on the month.

This month’s organization we are collaborating with is the UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation Club in order to support their goal of raising funds for cardiovascular research.


The UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation Club aspires to build a vibrant community of strong, heart-healthy scholars. They envision a vibrant community for UBC where UBC students, faculty and staff have a sound mind and sound body by adopting a healthy lifestyle consisting of a proper diet, adequate exercise and good habits (e.g. avoiding smoking, minimizing stress, going for regular check-ups as necessary etc). Using their awareness campaigns, they hope to inspire others to deliberately care for their heart, and to understand that valuing their heart and its health is the right start to valuing the gift of life. By providing educational materials and tools from the Heart and Stroke Foundation to the public, through their Research Match service and by hosting their annual Research Night. They endeavour to make the same community equally interested in learning more about – and appreciating – the wonders of the heart and brain. To find out more about the UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation Club, visit their website http://ubchsf.com/ .


Did you know . . .

-Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death for Canadian women
-Heart disease is preventable and manageable
-Physical activity (including yoga) can:

  • dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • help prevent and control risk factors such as:
    • high blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
    • type 2 diabetes
    • osteoporosis
    • certain types of cancer
    • obesity
  • reduce stress levels
  • increase energy
  • improve sleep
  • improve digestion

(source: http://www.heartandstroke.com/)

Give a little back to your heart and brain by doing some yoga with the UBC Yoga Club and supporting the UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation.




Acro Yoga- aka “Couple’s” Yoga

So this is something that I just find amazing. If you’re finding your practice repetitive and you want to make it a more social event… try acro yoga.

Since I personally don’t know much about the practice, I’m using the source http://www.acroyoga.org/about/the-acroyoga-practice to help me out.

According to the website, acro yoga has three main elements:

1. Solar Acrobatic Practices

This is about trust. Strength, inversions and spotting are crucial in this type of practice. Very similar to gymnastic training, conditioning is key in the success of the poses. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork! The inversions are most dependent on the element of trust and partner acrobatics require a base, flyer and spotter. Pretty self-explanatory.

2. Lunar Healing Arts Practices

This is all about massage, therapeutic flying and partner yoga. The ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’ incorporate gravity, sensitivity an kindness to create a relaxing practice for both. Like in everything else, communication is key. The base is the one holding the flyer up, so it is important they both have massaging techniques understood confidently before using them in the air.
This whole process is an “inverted aerial massage”.
As the website puts it: “The base supports the flyer with their legs as the flyer hangs passively. The base uses gravity, stretching and sensitive touch to open the flyers upper body. When the flyer comes down they do massage on the bases warmed up legs. The session is complete when both partner have given and received, based and flown, inhaled and exhaled.”
Bodyweight and breath are important in opening and warming the body. Gravity and trust are the main ingredients.

3. Yogic Practices

“Yoga is the glue between the Solar and Lunar Practices”. The partner practices are as they so put it ‘fed’ by solo yoga. I guess what they are trying to say is, the yoga philosophy is equally as important as the physical aspects. Therefore, breathing, mantras and postures are no less important in acro yoga.

Wanted to keep it short and sweet. ANYBODY INTERESTED IN TRYING THIS? I think it’s pretty awesome.
Just be safe and choose your partner carefully 😉

(Pictures found:www.sharetheloveyoga.com)

Let’s Talk About Posture

I came up with this idea through my own realization that… I have TERRIBLE posture. Sure, I stand tall when I’m walking… but let’s be honest, being a student results in lots of slouching over.

What does this mean? Keep up with the yoga! Yoga, along with many other benefits, pushes you to continue your posture throughout the rest of your day. I have found that practicing on a regular basis, and given you are doing the poses correctly, you find yourself more prone to keeping that back straight and pelvis tucked under.

It is no question that having good posture ensures life long health benefits, so instead of boring you with too many health facts (also givenI am not a health professional) I’ll direct the rest of this post towards posture benefiting poses.

1. It may seem obvious, but Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Tadasanaallows you the time to focus on standing up straight and focusing more on relieving all of your mind’s worries. Rarely to we take the time to pay particular attention to the correct way to stand.

(Picture found:www.coastalbendhealthfoods.com)

2. Cobra Pose is effective in opening up your chest, shoulders, and also in strengthening the back which is beneficial for good posture. yp_cobra (Picture found: holisticonline.com)

3. The cat/cow movement is one of my favourites and is wonderful in stretching your back and increasing flexibility in your spine.
(Picture found: www.californiayoga.com)
4. Child’s Pose is one of the most popular poses because… who doesn’t love a resting pose. This is an overall relaxing pose that aids you in releasing the tension we generally hold through maintenance of posture. It’s one thing to maintain posture, but another to do it without unnaturally tensing your body.Childs-pose_stretch(Picture found: fashionsunrise.com)

5. Locust pose is amazing for strengthening your lower back and focuses to work on your butt, legs, arms… all while keeping your pelvis tucked under. Something our society doesn’t focus on doing so much. Keep that butt from sticking out too much unnaturally! Sticking out your butt is not only bad for posture, but also causes relaxation in your stomach which can lead to weaker muscles and accumulation of fat. Nobody wants a jiggly tummy, especially when us yogis are known for our lovely toned stomachs.
(Picture found: msmadhavi.blogspot.com)

So there is just a sample of the top posture benefitting poses. Of course any yoga pose will benefit you health wise which in turn leads to better posture. Who knew standing and sitting could be so complex?

(Featured image found: originalstrength.net)