WSSM - Yoga by Zofia Karubin

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. . . Daily Fitness



balancing your life

By Zofia Karubin -- Certified Yoga Instructor

The tree pose is excellent in helping us focus the mind, get centered, regain balance in our energy and in our life. All balancing poses are excellent for improving our surfing ability. Balancing on the ground is so much easier than balancing on the water, and the benefits of doing balancing yoga poses on the ground will make surfing even more fun, because you get so much more in tune with your body, your mind, and your whole being. With the arms stretched up in tree pose, it opens up the lungs and frees up your breath, and the breath brings calmness and peace. The tree pose also strengthens and stretches your feet, legs, hips and joints. The tree pose is fun and easy and the results can be felt instantly. Before you start, you can do some gentle stretches to warm up your body and remember you may do any variation of the tree pose that is right for you. You know your body best, so be sure to listen to the messages your body is sending. Don’t force or strain in any way. Each yoga pose should feel relaxing and should be relieving stress in your body and mind, not creating it. Be sure to breathe naturally through each pose and don’t hold your breath--allow your breath to flow. After doing the tree pose for a few breaths on each side, you might notice that it’s easier to balance one side than the other, this is natural, just be gentle with yourself and if you lose balance, try again and breathe. (If you have any health concerns, check with your health care provider before doing this or any exercise program)

 Tree Pose (Vrksasana) Hangin’ five on the rocks of Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California



Focus on one point in front of you. Balance on one foot and spread your toes out, and gently lift the other foot up against the calf, the knee of the bent leg is pointing out to the side. Be sure to place the foot on the calf, and not the knee. With arms outstretched, reach toward the sky while remaining grounded and rooted in the earth. Allow the breath to flow smoothly and naturally. Relax into this pose for as long as comfortable, then balance on the other foot.

BIO: Zofia Karubin has been practicing yoga since childhood, and has been teaching yoga for adults, kids, and teens in Los Angeles, California for over a decade. Visit the WSSM website to see more yoga articles from previous issues of WSSM. Photos by On It Pro, We give you the edge, the rest is up to you!

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When you are ready, focus on one point in front of you, balance on one foot with your toes spread out and lift the other foot against the thigh, always place the foot on the thigh, and not the knee, and the knee of the bent leg is pointing to the side. The heel should be pushing into the thigh while the thigh pushes into the heel, creating a lock that helps to stay balanced. Bring the palms together at the heart or over your head and feel the energy shift as it flows up through the roots of your feet to the top of your head and to the tips of your fingers. Continue breathing naturally and with the awareness of feeling grounded and connected to the earth and the sky. Remain in this pose for as long as comfortable and repeat on the other side. 

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