Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Business and Finance: predictions

Why is developing a financial plan so important to an entrepreneur about to launch a business? What should you consider including in your financial planning?

Having a financial plan is important to any entrepreneur because without one you are not making money. Even if you do not know when your off season is, you can project it based on what your product is, who it benefits, and if others have done this before you, you can base your projections off of their businesses. For myself, when I had not had a full year of working by myself, trying to predict how each month will go was hard, however I had lots of experiences working in gyms and just being in one to know that the winter tends to be a bit dead for the first half and picks up during the second with all of the holiday weight people put on as well as the new years resolutions people want to try to keep. The real season for money is during the summer. That gave me an idea as to when my off season could be. The other thing to take into consideration is that since I don’t have a gym most of my clients are either at home or outdoors. No one really wants to workout in the snow, so winter is even tougher for me, and my real seasons to make money on the outdoor workouts is spring and fall, while the at homes are during the summer when people are trying to get fit for the beach and still have enough time to workout. I worked in a franchise once and the manager used to talk to all of us waitresses all the time about how he wasn’t sure exactly how well we would do on a night by night basis, and all we could do is look at see how other branches are doing and how they did in hopes that we would bring in about the same amount. Once you’ve been open for at least a year you can use previous years earnings to know when your personal business will do well and when it wont. There will be flukes when you may make more or less than projected, but it will give you a good idea to base your plan off of.  It is important to know when your going to make a lot of money and when you aren’t so that you know how much to save and when it is important to make and save enough. This will help not only for your own savings and payroll, but for when you have to pay back any loans to others as well. If you dont want to go under, you need to know how much you need to make, save and spend. If you want people to sponsor, finance, and trust you enough to loan you money, then you need to have a plan written out for your money and how much you think you’ll be able to make by when.

Saturday, April 7, 2018


A lunge is such an awesome pose. Seriously it is versatile as can be. From a passive lunge to help stech out, to an overhead lunge building core, leg, and upper body strength. Lunges are absolutely amazing. This blog will cover 1 specific lunge: a static engaged lunge, or crescent lunge. This is a strength building lunge that is held rather than in motion.
This pose is referred to as anjaneyasana in yoga. The term anjayeya is a matronymic reference to the lord Hanuman using his mothers name, Anjani. Lord Hanuman is a central part of Hindu devotional worship, Believed to be an incarnation of lord Shiva, and is often portrayed as resembling a monkey. The pose resembles a young divine child reaching towards the sky and the warmth of the sun, captivated by a glowing fruit in the sky as depicted in the traditional epic.

How to:

From standing (Moutain):
Shift weight to right foot lifting left foot up out in front of you with the knee bent. Find your balance.
Then step back with the left foot landing softly on the balls of the feet with your toes facing front, knee down, and hips square. Take a moment to adjust.

From Downward Dog:
Lift your right foot up as high as you can while keeping your hips square.
Tuck the right knee in towards your nose. Then step the foot up between your hands.
Come up on to the fingertips as you adjust your feet to find your balance, then lift the torso upright. Taking the hands to the hips to square them off.

Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, let yourself sink down in this lunge as deep as you can comfortably. For the most traditional posture, raise your hands above your head reaching your fingertips up towards the sky while keeping your shoulders relaxed.


Anything with your arms reaching overhead is great way to engage the core, even in this lunge where you aren’t holding any additional weights. However In cases of shoulder injuries and some back injuries, keeping your arms over head is not the best idea. Here are some alternatives:

Hands at heart center

Hands on the hips: If you are someone who is trying to work on alignments, this is a great way to get physical feedback as to where your body is in space and what its doing.

Backwards prayer hands: If you want to get the benefits of a heart opener but don’t have backbend in your lunge, then is is a great way to get this.

Doing the same pose over and over again can get boring, and so is simply holding a pose for a long time. Twists are a great addition to a lunge to add some varritions to your lunge.

Open twist: allows for more accessibility into and out of the twist

I also demonstrated here a modification for those who cannot reach the floor. Simply allow your elbow to rest on your knee.

Closed twist: allows for a deeper twist and bind. Here my arms are "Fanned out"

A closed twist with hands at heart center

Upright: When we bend forwards to hook the elbow, we are often distracted from the natural twist to a more over exaggerated twist which relies heavily on how much you can twist yourself around using your arms. Also more easily accessed for those struggling with balancing in a lunge twist.

A Bind: To bind your twist you must first be able to do a low twisting lunge. From here lets say your doing a lunge on your right leg and you are twisting to the right. You will take your right arm up and over your body so that your right hand is behind your back right around the lumbar portion of your spine. Your left arm will scoop under your body so that your right leg is being held in your left armpit. With your left hand, reach for your right wrist. If you can reach it, clasp it. This is your bind. If you cannot reach you can use a strap to help extend your reach.

 Backbend: Back bends are an option when in a lunge. They require a lot of balance so only do it when you feel sturdy and balanced. When you take a backbend, make sure that you keep a bend in the back knee to help make sure you don’t over stretch the hamstring.

Sidebend: Side bends are also an option for a lunge variation. These bends also require a lot of balancing so again it’s important for you to keep a bend in the back knee.

Runners Lunge: This is a hybrid of a low lunge, and a high lunge. For this lunge, you will keep the back knee up off the ground and the back leg engaged. Lean your body forward with your fingertips on the ground. Keeping your fingertips on the ground will help you with finding and keeping your balance.

-stretches the legs, groin, and hip flexors, while also opening the front torso, chest, and shoulders
-strengthens and tones the thighs, hips, and butt, while strengthening and stretching the thighs, calves and ankles
-considered a balance pose, backbend, and heart opener
-helps the front of the body to expand, which increases energy and reduces fatigue.
-creates flexible strength
-promotes stability in the front and back of the torso
-tones the lower body
-stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, arms, neck, belly, groins (psoas) and the muscles of the back
-develops stamina and endurance in your thighs
-improves your balance, concentration and core awareness
-calms the mind

Do not practice Crescent Lunge if you are currently experiencing high blood pressure or heart problems. Also, avoid this pose if you have a knee or spinal injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
Those with shoulder problems should not raise their arms above their head, instead placing their hands on their front thigh

Those with neck or spinal injuries should not take the backbend

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Pigeon Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

I have always been a huge fan of pigeon. I like how it stretches my glutes, inner thighs, and hips all in one while allowing me to relax. I know most people don’t find this stretch super relaxing, but I take a variation where I lie over my front leg and try to use the least amount of energy as possible. Pigeon was one of the first poses where I started to understand finding relaxation in the activation and activation in the relaxation. How many of us find that when we get into our pigeon our jaw is wired shut teeth gritting? That was me too. Trust me though doing this won’t help make the pose easier, or prettier, or feel better. Honestly it won’t have any positive impact on the pose. It will however have a negative impact. This teeth-gritting and tension is training your brain to automatically assume that you are doing something hard that you don’t like, which in the moment will simply make you more tense and possibly run into emotions such as anger, fear, sadness or stress, and that’s not fun. Overtime, as the pose becomes easier, your body will go into autopilot and still tense up and act as if you are having the worst time doing this pose which will ultimately make you dislike the pose regardless of whether you do or don’t.  So, if there is a change to make to your pigeon, the first change to make is to smile, and relax the jaw!

How To:
Let’s start from Downward Dog. Raise the right leg up into the air and then tuck the knee in towards the nose. Tuck the knee in tight and rotate the hips slightly as you lower the right hip to the floor and allow the back knee to come down as well. 
From here square your hips to the front of your mat extending the back leg long down the mat. Your right knee will be slightly out to the right with the knee bent. 
Take hold of your right foot and bring it up the left side of your mat towards the top so that your right knee is at about 90 degrees or parallel to the top of your mat.
Take a moment up right with the spine tall, or forward fold over that bent right leg taking your head to the floor.
If you folded forward, bring yourself back up right to come out of this pose.
Curl the back toes lifting the left leg up some, engaging it, and bring that foot in about 6 inches up towards the body- this will help you transition into your downward dog.
Lift your right hip up pressing through the arms lift the hips high to find downward dog.
Raise the left leg up into the air and then tuck the knee into the nose rotating the hips slightly as you lower the left hip to the floor.
Square the hips to the front of the mat and extend the right leg long down the mat. 
Take hold of your left foot and bring it up the right side of your mat towards the top so that your knee is at about a 90 degree angle, lining the shin up parallel to the top of the mat.
Take a moment up right with the spine tall, or forward fold over that bent right leg taking your head to the floor.
If you folded forward, bring yourself back up right to come out of this pose.
Curl the back toes lifting the right leg up some and pressing through hands, lift the left hip up and send the hips upward and back to downward facing dog.

Pigeon is actually quite a difficult pose to do, so here are some modifications you can take so as to help protect injury to your hips, or groin:

1. Take the pose on your back. Start by lying down on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Take your right ankle and place it on your left knee, pressing the right knee out to help open the hip. You can keep the left foot on the floor, or grab the back of the left knee to help tuck it in some more. Keep in mind though that as you tuck that left knee in that the right hip is not closing off, you really want to make sure that the hips is open here. The last option for the left leg is to straighten it up towards the ceiling giving you a double stretch 1 in the right hip, and 2 in the left hamstring. 

Doing this stretch on your back will help to alleviate pressure from the knees as well as lessening the stretch if your hips aren’t open enough for the full expression.

2. Add a prop!

Prop 1, a block. If you have trouble lowering your hip all the way down to the ground or keeping it there as you square off your hips, then you may need to lift it up some. Use a block to sit one hip on and elevate it so that your hips can be square and still stay in contact with something. So if your right leg is bent in front, the block will go under your right side to lift, and if your left leg is in front then the block goes under the left hip.

Prop 2, a bolster. Set your bolster up horizontally on your mat, and as you lower your hip into the pose let your hip settle on the bolster. (Depending on the length of your thigh, your knee may stay off the ground or not.) This will give you more lift than just a block as well as provide stability.

***If you don't have a bolster you can use a big firm pillow, or stack 2 blocks (shortest height to start) next to each other and lay a blanket or thin pillow over them

3. Tuck the front knee in. If you hip isn't happy with your front knee at 90, try bending the front knee more and allowing the foot to come closer to the torso. This will allow you to focus on the hip flexor stretch, allow you to feel more stable, and lessen the impact on the hip.

If you are someone who has really open hips and you want to get a little bit more out of pigeon, here are some modifications you can use to increase the intensity of the stretch. 

1. Mermaid variation
In the mermaid variation the back leg is going to get more attention directed towards a thigh and hip flexor stretch, as well as a mild open twist. Bend the back knee so your foot is up in the air (if the left foot is back use the left hand) and grab the foot allowing it to slide down to the crook of the elbow. Using the other hand, reach over the head and back joining hands for a bind.

2. Full King Pigeon
King pigeon requires a lot of stability, flexibility, and openness and strength in the shoulders and hips. From your pigeon bend the back knee so your foot is up in the air. Take your arms up and over your head reaching back for your foot. Once you have grabbed hold of your back foot, press the foot into your hands to gently pull the arms back and open the shoulders, and gently pull your hands in the opposite direction to help stretch the thigh.

3. 1/2 King Pigeon
The full king pigeon is a difficult pose, but you can try what I call a 1/2 king pigeon to see if you have the stability and leg flexibility/strength. From your pigeon, bend the back knee taking the foot up into the air. Keeping the fingertips on the floor take a back bend connecting the foot to the head, or as close as you can get. Hold here, while testing your stability, by lifting the fingertips off the floor for as long as you can hold.

Not quite ready for that kind of intensity? No problem, here are a few more options

Place a block or bolster under the back leg to lift it up a little higher. When you do this, it is important to make sure that the back knee is straight. This lift of the back leg will intensify the stretch to the groin, hip flexors, and thigh area.

Add a twist to your pigeon to help keep the hips square and open the front legs' hip. From your pigeon, twist towards the leg that is bent in front, lowering the opposite shoulder to the floor and extend the arm out (as you would in threading the needle). Your other arm will come over the head reaching out past the front of the mat, or bind by taking it behind the back and down the floor by the opposite hip.

·         Stimulates the internal organs
·         Opens the hips, groin, hamstrings. Open hips improve your posture, alignment and overall flexibility. Open hips also release the negative feelings and energy from your system since stress, tension and anxiety are often stored there.
·         Elongates the back and relieves pressure on the lower back and sciatica
·         Stretch deep glutes
·         Stretch groins and psoas (a long muscle on the side of your vertebral column and pelvis)
·         Relieve impinged piriformis and alleviate sciatic pain
·         Help with urinary disorders
·         For the athlete, this pose is critical to overall health, speed and agility. Open hips relieve the stress transferred to the knees when hips are tight. Less knee strain means a greater range of motion for the pivot sports such as tennis, basketball or soccer, reducing risk to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Clear hips also give the back a full range of motion. This helps athletes avoid lower back strains that often plague them. Flexible and aligned hips are essential for an athletes' best performance.

Contraindications: Consult your physician if you have any of the following, or if you experience any as a result of trying this pose.
·         A sacroiliac or back injury
·         An ankle injury
·         Certain knee injuries
·         Extreme tightness in the hip