Please meet Jen Ellis. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Jen has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates flipped dog pose (Camatkarasana).
Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Jen Ellis
I came to my first yoga class with a friend. It was something I had always wanted to try, but I never seemed to find my way there. I will admit that as I walked into the room for my first class, I was a little nervous, it was a step outside of my comfort zone for sure!! The control freak in me and my Type A personality was screaming, “How am I gonna twist, bend and move like this!??! And no chatting…?!” Haha. But, here I am and here goes nothing!
Of course, I was welcomed by the Mind Body Flow Yoga community with open arms and an instant calmness. As the flow of the class began, I embraced the challenges and sensations. I remember leaving the yoga class feeling so light and open. I left thinking “I need to do that more!”
It was a time to be still, to have time to be introspective. Even the working hard and sweating had healing power. I was taking 75 minutes out of my day to calm my mind, clear my thoughts, and focus on myself. I loved that. I NEEDED that! My mat was a place of healing and serenity for me. Yoga made me ignite the power to focus on myself when on my mat. Soon, this ability translated off my mat and into my daily life rituals and routines.
As a wife to a husband who traveled a lot for his work and a mother of three smaller children, I was finding myself in a constant state of rushing, fatigue, and feeling as though I was trying to stay above water and not drown in the demands of my days. I did not have any family in town to lean on for extra hands or support. I felt I had to keep control and do it all, totally overwhelming and…yup Type A crazy!!
It was a lot of pressure sometimes to fill the roles of a mommy and a daddy when my husband would travel…often for weeks straight! I found myself putting off the kids to clean up or run errands. I was sacrificing precious time with my babies worrying about, in the grand scheme of life, insignificant daily picking up and dust! I mean, the kids won’t remember a little dust or some crumbs on the floor…they will remember ME playing with them, taking walks and reading books in a blanket fort! Right?!?!
Total perspective shift…through my yoga practice, I was learning to let go of the little things and enjoy the true blessings right in front of me. The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow. But, children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” —Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Yoga has helped me live in the present and let go of the past. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some uphill battles in my life. But, for the most part, I can control unpleasant feelings when they arise. I take a deep breath and let it pass.
I can now safely say that yoga means peace, love, balance, and a whole new appreciation for life. In addition to the mental peace yoga brings me, it also has helped alleviate my migraines and neck pain. My body has a new respect for itself and what it needs to thrive and allow me to live with less pain and discomfort. I sleep better and my other workouts have flourished with the way my body as opened up. Yoga is medicine for the aches and pains, and gets those “kinks” out!
Yoga is special to me as a busy wife and mommy! When you live a busy, yet amazingly great life, full of going going going, you need to make time for yourself. You need to make time where you aren’t thinking of everyone else, or the next thing on your to-do list, and trust me mine is ongoing (ALWAYS)! My mat is the special place where I get to do that. The place where I get to check out of life, errands, chores, sports practices, dance classes, school events, cell service and wifi, and focus on ME! And when I leave class and jump back into my beautiful, blessed, and crazy life, I can do so with a clear, positive mind!!
Leave a comment below. What stood out to you in the testimonial? What significant experience have you had in your yoga journey?
What is this Pose About?
This is a grounded upside down pose. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the chest, lungs, and shoulders. Watch Jen enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment and play around with it.
Tips for Flipped Dog (Camatkarasana)
- Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Then lift your right leg high into three-legged dog. Bend your right knee, to stack your right hip on top of your left hip.
- With an exhale, step your right foot back onto the ground, the feet are a hips-width distance apart at twelve on a clock. The knees are bent at 90 degrees and the legs need to be strong and supportive. Extending the heart, remember to continue melting shoulder blades into the back.
- Look to the right hand with an open throat, or if your neck is sore simply look down. Try holding for 3-5 full deep breaths, then repeat on the other side. .
- Opens up the chest, lungs, and shoulders
- Opens the front of the legs and hip flexors
- Builds strength in shoulders and upper back
- Use caution with this pose if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Rotator Cuff injuries
- Do not practice this pose without prior experience or unless you have the supervision of an experienced instructor
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?