valerie lavigne

wellness educator

67 notes

blog post | 6 things ARM BALANCES taught me | valerie lavigne

as many of you already know, I love arm balances! they are challenging, fun, but they require more than just strength and flexibility. over the past few years I have been exploring my arm balance practice more deeply, and although I have taken a few tumbles, and face-plants, I’ve also learned a few things along the way!
#1. drive
arm balances require drive. you have to want to do the pose. you need to cultivate an urge to take flight!
it’s import to have an appetite for trying new things! it takes us out of our comfort zones and allows us to grow and strengthen. not only physically, but mentally!
#2. patience
it takes time to build strength, flexibility, and to master proper alignment for arm balances. yes, for some these acro inspired poses come easily, but for many of us we need to work up to the poses without getting upset that it doesn’t happen right on the spot. 
for some people, certain arm balances can take years to build safely. take your time, it will come ;)
#3. focus
arm balances require focus. there are a lot of things going on during an arm balance: your hands have to be in the right position, and your palms and fingers have to press in a certain way, while you engage your core and lean forward - but not too much, and then move your legs in what looks like a pretzel - but try not to get stuck, then use your upper body strength to press your self off the mat - oh ya and breathe the entire time! not to mention, the fact that you feel like your face is just going to smack on your mat (which does happen sometimes) - and if you’re like me - you have a monkey mind that just won’t stop! 
so we must focus. focus on your breath. let the monkey mind clear. take your time in setting up your pose. feel and experience everything in that moment. listen to the excitement in your heartbeat, concentrate on staying in the present. 
#4. trust
you need to trust yourself. one thing I really love about arm balances is that  they require tons of core strength - and our core chakra (energy center) is all about confidence, power, and overcoming fears! 
of course if you’ve never done an arm balance before they can be pretty scary! but with the help of an experienced yoga instructor, (and maybe some extra bolsters for crash landings!) arm balances don’t have to be daunting. have faith, confidence, and trust in yourself - you can do anything you put your mind to!
#5. persistance
it’s true that, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going." as I mentioned before, arm balances aren’t perfected over night. you can’t expect to master arm balances after a one hour practice. you have to stay consistent with the practice in spite of how difficult it may seem.
with that being said, there are days when even the simplest standing balance seems impossible. be in the moment. if the arm balance is just not happening for you right then and there, come back to it later or an other day. it’s okay; honour your body.
#6. non-attachment
the asanas (poses) are only a small part of yoga. the yamas are another part of yoga, they are the “attitude” or “ethical practice” that go along with the asanas. one of the yamas is aparigraha which translates to, “non-horading” or “non-attachment” this idea, or attitude is huge for me when I practice arm balances!
many arm balances are hip openers. this is significant because our sacral chakra (in the area of our hips and reproductive organs) is where we hold a lot of our emotions, our feelings, and any negativity. when we hang on to this negativity we tend to tighten up in our hips, making the flexibility part of arm balances very difficult. this negativity can come from many places or be a result of many circumstances. 
for me, arm balances helped me let go. helped me open up to new ideas, new possibilities, new beginnings. when I let go of excuses, I made room for drive. when I let go of expectiations, I made room for patience. when let go of my monkey mind, I made room for focus. when I let go of fear, I made room for trust. when I let go of laziness, I made room for persistence.
arm balances are now apart of my daily yoga practice. I find them to be an energetic way to start my day, or a helpful break between teaching, and blogging and everything else that comes up in a day!
~ love & light, 
V
feel free to share your yoga stories and journeys with me! my ask box is always open! happy arm balancing!

blog post | 6 things ARM BALANCES taught me | valerie lavigne

as many of you already know, I love arm balances! they are challenging, fun, but they require more than just strength and flexibility. over the past few years I have been exploring my arm balance practice more deeply, and although I have taken a few tumbles, and face-plants, I’ve also learned a few things along the way!

#1. drive

arm balances require drive. you have to want to do the pose. you need to cultivate an urge to take flight!

it’s import to have an appetite for trying new things! it takes us out of our comfort zones and allows us to grow and strengthen. not only physically, but mentally!

#2. patience

it takes time to build strength, flexibility, and to master proper alignment for arm balances. yes, for some these acro inspired poses come easily, but for many of us we need to work up to the poses without getting upset that it doesn’t happen right on the spot. 

for some people, certain arm balances can take years to build safely. take your time, it will come ;)

#3. focus

arm balances require focus. there are a lot of things going on during an arm balance: your hands have to be in the right position, and your palms and fingers have to press in a certain way, while you engage your core and lean forward - but not too much, and then move your legs in what looks like a pretzel - but try not to get stuck, then use your upper body strength to press your self off the mat - oh ya and breathe the entire time! not to mention, the fact that you feel like your face is just going to smack on your mat (which does happen sometimes) - and if you’re like me - you have a monkey mind that just won’t stop! 

so we must focus. focus on your breath. let the monkey mind clear. take your time in setting up your pose. feel and experience everything in that moment. listen to the excitement in your heartbeat, concentrate on staying in the present. 

#4. trust

you need to trust yourself. one thing I really love about arm balances is that  they require tons of core strength - and our core chakra (energy center) is all about confidence, power, and overcoming fears! 

of course if you’ve never done an arm balance before they can be pretty scary! but with the help of an experienced yoga instructor, (and maybe some extra bolsters for crash landings!) arm balances don’t have to be daunting. have faith, confidence, and trust in yourself - you can do anything you put your mind to!

#5. persistance

it’s true that, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going." as I mentioned before, arm balances aren’t perfected over night. you can’t expect to master arm balances after a one hour practice. you have to stay consistent with the practice in spite of how difficult it may seem.

with that being said, there are days when even the simplest standing balance seems impossible. be in the moment. if the arm balance is just not happening for you right then and there, come back to it later or an other day. it’s okay; honour your body.

#6. non-attachment

the asanas (poses) are only a small part of yoga. the yamas are another part of yoga, they are the “attitude” or “ethical practice” that go along with the asanas. one of the yamas is aparigraha which translates to, “non-horading” or “non-attachment” this idea, or attitude is huge for me when I practice arm balances!

many arm balances are hip openers. this is significant because our sacral chakra (in the area of our hips and reproductive organs) is where we hold a lot of our emotions, our feelings, and any negativity. when we hang on to this negativity we tend to tighten up in our hips, making the flexibility part of arm balances very difficult. this negativity can come from many places or be a result of many circumstances. 

for me, arm balances helped me let go. helped me open up to new ideas, new possibilities, new beginnings. when I let go of excuses, I made room for drive. when I let go of expectiations, I made room for patience. when let go of my monkey mind, I made room for focus. when I let go of fear, I made room for trust. when I let go of laziness, I made room for persistence.

arm balances are now apart of my daily yoga practice. I find them to be an energetic way to start my day, or a helpful break between teaching, and blogging and everything else that comes up in a day!

~ love & light, 

V

feel free to share your yoga stories and journeys with me! my ask box is always open! happy arm balancing!

Filed under yoga pose asana practice fitness wellness health fitblr fitspo fitspiration inspiration motivation healthblr fit personal valerie lavigne life valerie lavigne yoga lifestyle get on your mat yoga every damn day yoga girl blog post 6 things arm balances taught me arm balances arm balance inversion

15 notes

tadasana | mountain pose
virabhadrasana I | warrior 1
virabhadrasana II | warrior 2
dandasana | staff pose
bharadvajasana | simple seated twist
balasana | child’s pose
utkatasana | fierce pose
bhujangasana | cobra pose
setu bandha sarvangasana | bridge pose
~ for more info on each pose and how to get in and out of the poses check out my blog here! ~

tadasana | mountain pose

virabhadrasana I | warrior 1

virabhadrasana II | warrior 2

dandasana | staff pose

bharadvajasana | simple seated twist

balasana | child’s pose

utkatasana | fierce pose

bhujangasana | cobra pose

setu bandha sarvangasana | bridge pose

~ for more info on each pose and how to get in and out of the poses check out my blog here! ~

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7 notes




setu bandha sarvangasana | bridge pose
1 ~Start lying on your back. Bend your knees placing your feet hip-distance apart. Let your heels come close to the sitting bones. Arms rest by your sides, palms facing down. 
2 ~Exhale and press your soles of the feet, backs of the shoulders and arms into the mat. Engage your glutes and lift your hips toward the sky. Keep your feet and inner thighs parallel and active. 
3 ~Interlace your hands below your glutes and press through the arms as you keep lifting your hips high. 
4 ~You want to keep your knees over your heels and use the strength of the lower body to lift and hold you in the pose. 
5 ~Stay in the pose for 30 – 60 seconds. To come out of the pose, release your hands and exhale slowly rolling the spine back down to the mat. 

setu bandha sarvangasana | bridge pose

1 ~
Start lying on your back. Bend your knees placing your feet hip-distance apart. Let your heels come close to the sitting bones. Arms rest by your sides, palms facing down.

2 ~
Exhale and press your soles of the feet, backs of the shoulders and arms into the mat. Engage your glutes and lift your hips toward the sky. Keep your feet and inner thighs parallel and active.

3 ~
Interlace your hands below your glutes and press through the arms as you keep lifting your hips high.

4 ~
You want to keep your knees over your heels and use the strength of the lower body to lift and hold you in the pose.

5 ~
Stay in the pose for 30 – 60 seconds. To come out of the pose, release your hands and exhale slowly rolling the spine back down to the mat. 

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12 notes

bhujangasana | cobra pose




1 ~Lie face down on the floor. Reach your legs back, and bring the tops of the feet to your mat; toes untucked. Press your hands on the floor under your shoulders, hugging your elbows into your sides, and bringing your shoulder blades together on your back. 
2 ~Press all 10 toe nails into the mat, engage the thighs and press the hip bones down, letting the lower back lengthen. 
3 ~{Baby Cobra} For beginners, inhale as you lift the chest and gaze forward, keeping the collarbone wide and the head back. Keep the front floating ribs on the mat. 
4 ~This is a back bending pose, but you aren’t meant to crunch into the spine. Find length by reaching the heart and head forward before reaching up. 
5 ~Hold this pose for 15 – 30 seconds, breathing evenly. On your exhale come back to the mat. 

bhujangasana | cobra pose

1 ~
Lie face down on the floor. Reach your legs back, and bring the tops of the feet to your mat; toes untucked. Press your hands on the floor under your shoulders, hugging your elbows into your sides, and bringing your shoulder blades together on your back.

2 ~
Press all 10 toe nails into the mat, engage the thighs and press the hip bones down, letting the lower back lengthen.

3 ~
{Baby Cobra} For beginners, inhale as you lift the chest and gaze forward, keeping the collarbone wide and the head back. Keep the front floating ribs on the mat.

4 ~
This is a back bending pose, but you aren’t meant to crunch into the spine. Find length by reaching the heart and head forward before reaching up.

5 ~
Hold this pose for 15 – 30 seconds, breathing evenly. On your exhale come back to the mat. 

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5 notes




utkatasana | fierce pose
1 ~Start in Tadasana, inhale. 


2 ~Exhale and bend your knees, and sink your hips low. Keep inner thighs parallel and your hips squared to the front edge of your mat.




3 ~Inhale to lift your arms along side your ears. Wrap your shoulders onto your back and turn the palms to face inward. Tuck your tailbone under finding length through the spine and torso. 
4 ~Keep your core stable and your front floating ribs down. Reach out through the crown of your head 
5 ~Breathe evenly in this pose for 30 – 60 seconds. To come out of the pose, inhale straightening your knees and release your arms to your sides, returning to Tadasana. 

utkatasana | fierce pose

1 ~
Start in Tadasana, inhale.

2 ~
Exhale and bend your knees, and sink your hips low. Keep inner thighs parallel and your hips squared to the front edge of your mat.

3 ~
Inhale to lift your arms along side your ears. Wrap your shoulders onto your back and turn the palms to face inward. Tuck your tailbone under finding length through the spine and torso.

4 ~
Keep your core stable and your front floating ribs down. Reach out through the crown of your head

5 ~
Breathe evenly in this pose for 30 – 60 seconds. To come out of the pose, inhale straightening your knees and release your arms to your sides, returning to Tadasana. 

Filed under yoga pose asana practice fitness wellness health fitblr fitspo fitspiration inspiration motivation fit healthblr begin yoga every damn day yoga girl yoga for beginners beginner yoga valerie lavigne life valerie lavigne yoga lifestyle get on your mat