YOGABODY: Ashtanga Yoga / Chakrasana Pose

CHAKRASANA POSE

THE SETUP

This posture is very simple, but people get a little carried away with it and try to go too quickly. You’ll see children on the playground doing backward rolls all the time and never hurting themselves, but over-eager yoga students tense up and try to make this into more than it is… it’s very simple.

1. Lie on your back

2. Hands under shoulders just like in wheel pose

3. Roll your feet over your head and touch the ground with your flexed toes

(note: if you can’t touch your feet, you’re not ready for this transition posture)

4. On the 3rd trial roll, rock a little faster, push hard into your hands, and go all the way over

TIPS
1. Do NOT allow your body to roll to one side or other other… it’s all the way over (straight) or nothing

2. Don’t hold your breath or grit your teeth

3. Just relax and let your body be limp

All for today…

Stay bendy,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

YOGABODY: Ashtanga Yoga Jump Back & Jump Forward

ASHTANGA YOGA: JUMP BACK
Jumping back to chaturanga from a forward bend is a pretty simple movement, but many students make a loud “thump” or really push too hard in the process. The movement consists of 3 main parts.

1. Get your hands all the way flat on the floor.

2. Move your chest forward over your wrists

3. Lift your hips into the air and slide your feet backwards

NOT A HANDSTAND
The feeling as your jump backwards is not at all like a handstand. Students sometimes think they need to be very strong in their upper body to do a soft jump back, but this is not at all true. The movement is simple: transfer the weight from the balls of the feet to the palms of the hands and then allow the legs to move underneath you.

FREE YOGA VIDEO DEMOS

JUMP FORWARD
Jumping forward is the same movement, just in reverse. When done properly, your chest and chin will move forward and it can feel a little scary (as though you are going to fall forward). This is the correct feeling. We want to move our weight away from our feet where it lives naturally and into our hands, a new feeling for most of us.

Also, remember that this is not a handstand either. That is a different pose all together To jump forward takes just a little bit of energy.

Stay bendy,

Lucas Rockwood
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

YOGABODY: Ashtanga Yoga Jump Thrus

ASHTANGA YOGA: Jump Through to Sit
When you first learn this, it’s easier to do with bent legs, though eventually you can learn to do with straight legs too. It looks like a very muscle-y posture, but it’s more about balance than anything. When practicing, remember to keep your arms completely straight. This allows you to leverage the strength of your bones and use less muscular energy which is always a good thing.

The actual jump itself is tiny, and eventually, completely unnoticeable as your simply shift your weight from the balls of your feet into the palms of your hands and allow your legs to swing under.

More FREE Yoga Videos

DON’T RUSH THIS
When people first start learning this, they always want to go very very fast. There’s no need for that and it’s not helpful. If you can’t do it slowly, you can’t really do it anyway, so just chill out and move carefully.

Stay bendy,

Lucas Rockwood
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

YOGABODY Fleximine Explained: How it Works

Dear Yoga Student,

I want to talk to you about the power of practice.

Your body can change so fast, so dramatically, that people won’t recognize you (I’m serious), but all that change has to start with you.

With your practice.

I teach yoga, and new students (especially guys) will often walk in expecting to snooze through class, but ninety minutes, 35 postures, and 3 OMs later, that same person walks away a
weak, wobbly mess!

I love that!

The feeling you get after a killer yoga class is why everyone gets hooked, but that’s just the first step. Momentum is a powerful force and when you start to practice daily, you’ll cultivate the
unstoppable momentum of a Mac truck rolling down steep hill… watch out!

Many yoga teachers (myself included), will tell you to take it easy, be safe, and take your time. This is good advice that should be followed, but I’d also recommend that you practice hard.

But understand me here. What I mean is this: you need to show up to class, listen to your teacher, and do as she says. Read books, try postures at home, wake up early, roll out your mat, and practice, practice, practice!

That’s practicing hard!

HEAL FAST
For the past 6 years, some part of my body is usually a little sore from yoga, but there is a big difference between soreness and pain. Soreness is good, pain is bad.

To overcome your general yoga soreness, keep practicing, but practice more gently. Don’t stretch so deeply and modify postures as needed.

Taking extended time off from practice is never beneficial.

I’m not suggesting you “push through the pain” because over-zealous students I know have blown out their knees, pulled hamstrings, and slipped disks in their back. This is serious pain that could keep you off your yoga mat for a REALLY long time, so practice hard, but don’t be stupid.

Soreness, OK. Pain bad.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
In an ideal world, we’d get all the healing nutrients we need from the foods we eat, but our food is no longer the nutrient-dense fuel source it once was (depleted soils, genetic engineering, etc.).

Also, pollution, stressful lifestyles, and our constant exposure to toxins reduce our bodies’ nutrient stores. For these reasons, I think it’s wise to take organic, whole food supplements on a daily basis.

There are many great supplements available, but there are 4 that I’ve found essential for yoga students.

MSM: this natural source of sulfur fights inflammations and promotes flexibility and strength of muscles and connective tissues.

GREENS: chlorophyll-dense plant foods boost energy and detoxify the blood.

VIT C: boosts the immune system and enhances the effects of MSM.

TRACE MINERALS: balance the electrolytes in the body and provide building blocks for tissues.

I created YOGABODY because it made it easy for me to take all these supplements together in one capsule.

Thanks for reading!

Keep practicing,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. An email from a YOGABODY student:

“Two weeks ago, I tried Lucas method, and I was really surprised. When I am stretching in the morning, flexibility is remaining almost up to evening.” (Stefan, Australia)

Yoga Backbend Tips & Tricks

Dear Friend,

Most yoga students HATE backbends, but desperately want to learn them.

Here’s something you might not know: most yoga teachers also HATE backbends, so often they don’t teach them very well or very often!

I tell you something else. My backbends used to be really pathetic—I mean REALLY pathetic.

I went to class every day, asked my teachers for tips, but not much was happening. In full wheel pose (urdhva danurasana), I could only get my head about an inch off the ground, and even that nearly killed me!

Sound familiar?

WHY ARE BACKBENDS SO HARD?

Backbends shouldn’t really be called “backbends”, but instead “full body bends” because they involved so much more than just your back.

All on its own, your spine has a pretty impressive range of motion, but in order to do a deep backbend, all the muscles and connective tissues that support your spine need to be long and limber.

WHY CAN’T I BACKBEND DEEPLY?
There are a dozen reasons, honestly, but since I love simplicity, let’s focus on the two big areas where people often get stuck: the tops of the legs and the shoulders.

WARNING!
The poses below are super powerful, intense, and potentially dangerous. Read carefully and practice
consciously.

HANG MAN (a.k.a whoa!)
This is the simplest, most-powerful shoulder opening stretch I’ve ever found. Follow the instructions below carefully.

1 – Lie on your belly on the floor
2 – Wiggle over to a wall
3 – Put the crown of your head against the wall (still lying
on your belly)
4 – From here, DO NOT move your body forward or backward
5 – Reach your hands high up onto the wall (you chest will lift up)
6 – Spread your hands apart like Down Dog, drop your head, relax
7 – If you don’t feel anything, give it a minute!
8 – If your hands slip down the wall, walk them up again and relax
9 – Stay here for 2-5 minutes TOTALLY RELAXED

Note: DO NOT move closer or further away from the wall… doing so stretches a different part of your body.

RECLINING HERO (a.k.a. supta vajrasana)
Everyone I know who has an impressive backbend swears by this posture. Be safe, but if possible, hold this one for a LONG time.

1 – Kneel on the floor
2 – Knees together, feet apart, sit your bum down between
your heals
3 – If it’s too intense at this point, bring your feet together
and sit on your heals (skip remaining steps)
4 – If your bum is on the floor comfortably, lean back
5 – Elbows first, lower your back and head to the floor
6 – Grab opposite elbows over your head
7 – Relax totally for 2-5 minutes

Looks like this: http://www.bikramyogafitzroy.com.au/images/poses/supta_vajrasana_1.jpg

Note: If it’s too intense to lie back and practice it sitting upright. When you lie back, if your knees start screaming, back off and take it slow! People hurt their knees in this pose every day, so don’t be a cowboy. Take it slow and take it easy.

Thanks for reading!

Keep practicing,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. Have you seen our Karma Yoga Project? It’s a grass-roots community service program I co-founded. Have a look: http://yogabodynaturals.com/karma-yoga.php

Yoga Poses for Tight Hips: YOGABODY Secrets

Dear Friend,

I’m going to give you the straight facts about fixing your tight hips fast.

As a yoga teacher, I can tell you that there are 3 poses that everyone wants to learn as soon as possible: full lotus, headstand, and crane pose (bakasana).

Of these three, full lotus is probably the most challenging—but it’s well worth the effort.

The Hathapradipika says “there is no asana like padmasana (full lotus).” So there you go!

TOO MUCH DESK TIME?

Ask any non-yogi office worker to sit down on the floor and cross his legs, and 9 out of 10 times, his knees will be way off the floor and his back will be hunched up like Quasimodo.

Anatomically speaking, there’s a lot going on here, but on a basic level, the dude’s got tight hips.

YOGA NOT WORKING?
If your hips are really tight (i.e. you have nightmares about squat toilets), your average yoga class will only help you make small gains… say 10-20% per year.

In order to double or even triple your progress, keep going to class (this is essential), but take ten minutes each day and practice the postures listed below.

BUTTERFLY (a.k.a baddha konasana)
1 – Sit on the floor
2 – Bend your knees
3 – Bring the soles of your feet together
4 – Pull your feet as close to your crotch as possible
5 – Fold forward and place your finger tips on the floor
6 – Walk your fingertips forward until you can’t fold any further
7 – RELAX everything (legs, back, neck, head, arms)
8 – Breath normally for 3-5 minutes

Looks like this: CLICK for photo
(but stretch your arms forward… and relax!)

THE LUNGE (a.k.a. ouch!)
1 – Take Downward Dog
2 – Step your right foot between your hands
3 – Drop your left knee to the floor
4 – Push your right foot forward until the right ankle is underneath OR in front of the right knee
5 – Bring both hands onto the floor inside of the leg
6 – If it’s comfortable, drop down onto your elbows (if not, don’t!)
7 – RELAX everything (legs, back, neck, head, arms)
8 – Breath normally for 3-5 minutes
9 – Repeat on the other side

Like this guy: http://www.stadion.com/gif/Lunge2.jpg
(but put your hands or elbows down, take your shoes off…
and relax!)

I used to be the guy who sat like Quasimodo, but now I can comfortably take full lotus for an hour or more at a time, and it was primarily these two poses that opened me up.

If you do these postures as I’ve described, you’ll be blown away with the results!

A Couple of Tips:
- Don’t push or use force… relax completely!
- Practice these stretches 6 days per week (consistency is essential)
- Breath normally

A BIT OF ANATOMY
The two big muscles that are often blamed for tight hips (though they’re not the only culprits) are the iliacus and the psoas—sometimes called the hip flexors or iliopsoas.

These tough tissues enable us to lift our legs when we’re lying on our back, or lift up our torso in a sit-up.

The iliacus originates on the inner bowl of the pelvis, the psoas (the weird one) on the lumbar spine. Both cross the floor of the pelvis, the outer edges of the pubic bones, and insert on the inner upper femur (thighbone).

NOT MAKING ANY SENSE?
Basically, you’ve got this big bundle of muscle/tissue that starts at your lower back, extends over your pelvis, and finally connects to your legs. If this tissue gets tight and shortened, you can’t do
lotus (or a bunch of other poses either).

Thanks for reading!

Keep practicing,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. Email from Stephanie in Australia:

“I have been taking YOGABODY for a week now and have noticed amazing results in helping me ‘get bendy!’ Within a matter of days I have noticed improvement in all my postures but most exciting for me is I am able to touch my toes and keep my knee locked!”

Food & Flexibility Secrets: The YOGABODY Way

Dear Yoga Student,

Here’s something you have to experience to believe:

“The right foods can increase your flexibility immediately!”

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s true. This is not science or theory; it’s a real-life, student-tested fact. If you eat a water-dense, plant-based diet with lots of superfoods, you’ll notice flexibility gains within three days.

Don’t take my word for it—just try it!

Below is a shortlist of my favorite Superfoods. Buy them fresh or low-temperature dried, and purchase organic whenever possible.

DARK GREENS
Dark green vegetables are some of the most mineral-dense foods on the planet, and waterborne greens or sprouted greens are even better (waterborne greens usually have 2-10 times more minerals)

MY FAVORITES
Spirulina, chlorella, barley grass juice extract, wheat grass, kale, parsley, all seaweeds and sea vegetables, chard, and spinach.

PREHISTORIC GRAINS & SEEDS
Today, the most nutrient-dense foods are what I call the prehistoric plants; the ugly, brown-colored, intimidating dry good you see in plastic bins at the health food stores.

These are commercial crops, but nutritionally-speaking, they more-closely resemble their ancestors. They take a little extra work to prepare (cooking or sprouting), but it’s well worth it.

SHOPPING LIST
Millet, quinoa, amaranth, wild rice, bulgur, sesame seeds, sprouted seeds of clover, broccoli, mung beans, and radish.

SUPERFATS
Most people get their fat from inferior, animal-based foods like milk, ghee, cheese, butter, and meat. In animals’ bodies (and yours), built up toxins like pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and pollutants are most-often deposited in fat cells.

To make things worse, animal fat also contains the notorious LDL (bad) cholesterol that can lead
to damaged arteries and heart disease. No wonder fat has such a bad reputation!

Foolishly, many people today try to avoid all fats when really, they should be avoiding animal fats. Plant fats are not only good for you—they are essential for health and wellness and MUST be
eaten on a regular basis. Good fat give you sustained energy, heals your body, and balances hormones.

SHOPPING LIST
Raw almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, avocado, coconut, durian, and cold-pressed oils (olive, coconut, hemp, flax, and sesame seed are all great).

WHY SUPERFOODS?
Yoga students put heavy demands on their body, often neglecting to replenish their system with nutrient-dense, natural foods that will keep them healthy and strong.

Food for thought…

Keep Practicing,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. On pages 10-23 of the YOGABODY Handbook, I go into a lot
more detail about what and when to eat for health and flexibility.

Bum Knees, Surgery, & Yoga

Dear Yoga Student,

Did you know that hundreds of people get knee surgery every single day?

Just in the last year, 4 of my close friends had surgery! One was a yoga teacher, another was a runner, and the last two hardly did anything physical at all.

So what’s up with our screwed up knees?

Here’s what’s going on: we wear shoes all day long that support our arches, pad our feet from the earth, and do an amazing job of creating MASSIVE muscular imbalances that make our knees prone to injury.

Let me make it really simple for you:

High Arches = Strong Knees
Flat Feet = Knee Problems

“But what if my feet are naturally flat?” you ask.

Well, then you’ve got to strengthen your arches to protect your knees, and here are some exercises to get you started:

ARCH STRENGTHENING EXERCISE #1: run up stairs or run on a stair-climber. Strong calves muscles create strong Arches; and stairs keep you “on your toes” and build arch strength very quickly.

ARCH STRENGTHENING EXERCISE #2: put a towel on the floor, and using your toes, grab the towel, lift it off the ground, and then drop it. Do this again and again until you feel your foot and calf muscles starting to fatigue.

ARCH STRENGTHENING EXERCISE #3: with your feet hips-width apart, stand up high on your toes, and bend your knees halfway down. Extend your arms parallel to the floor, and hold for 60 seconds (if you’ve ever done a Bikram class, this is part 2 of the Awkward Pose series). After 60 seconds, rest, and then do it 4 more times…

… or you could skip all of the above and move to an island like me where you can wear flip flops and go barefoot all year round:)

Keep practicing,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. If you’re knees are REALLY a problem, I’d also suggest focusing on the “Writs, Twists, & Ankles” series (day 5) in my YOGABODY Stretching Handbook.

My Yoga Teacher Laughed at Me

Dear Yoga Student,

My first yoga teacher laughed at me when I told him that someday I was going to be a yoga teacher too… but he’s not laughing anymore!

My life is pretty sweet. Yoga has taken me to 17 different countries, 5x that many cities, and expanded my world faster than I could have ever imaged. When we talk about yoga “opening” you up, that applies on so many levels.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Five years ago I was trying to hack out a life for myself in Manhattan. I knew there was a better way, but I hadn’t figured it out yet. I was experimenting with yoga, meditation, health food, and everything else I could find–but it took awhile before I really fell into a groove.

Here’s why I’m telling you this: you can change your body. You can become strong and flexible and ridiculously healthy. You live where you want and meet someone who makes you
so happy it feels like a dream…

… but not until you hit your groove!

To get in the groove, I recommend getting up early. Take a big dose of yoga asana, a tall glass of fresh juice, do some jumping jacks, and get to work!

Stay bendy,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. Note from a YOGABODY customer:

“…just wanted to let you know that the formula works for
me and that my flexibility has increased amazingly fast.”
(Andy, Beijing, China)

Yoga Exercises Change Your DNA… maybe:)

Dear Yoga Student,

I prefer experience to science 6 days a week, but I learned something today that you should hear.

Stretching exercises are believed to stimulate the production of gel-like substances called glycoaminoglycans (GAGs). These GAGs
lubricate connective tissue fibers and keep them pliable.

What does that mean? Well stretching, makes it easier for you to stretch… biologically speaking!

AND IT GETS BETTER: There’s another theory that says that stretching may affect the way your genes express themselves, so the actual act of stretching might influence your body’s physical potential…

… what I’m suggesting is that deep stretching can actually activate your DNA!

That’s heavy. Think about it, but not for too long. Then get off your butt and do some stretches!

Stay bendy,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC

p.s. I have this belief that “the more your do, the more you can do,” and with flexibility, that’s certainly true. But I’ve got to say, you need to give your body the proper tools so that it CAN do what you’re asking. MSM with Vitamin C work magic for flexibility.