Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yoga Benefits for MEN.

I always get the most questions about yoga from men. Although a very coed practice, about 77% of all the yoga classes are woman, taught by woman and designed for/towards woman. It’s hard for me to see and believe this as both my mentors who trained and taught me were both male. I got into yoga because of my brother and some of the most amazing yogi’s of the world that I’ve studied and had the pleasure to practice with are and were male.
I believe that it’s a fear of the unknown when it comes to men and yoga. I also believe it’s the influence of the media and what is “socially acceptable” these days that deter more males from practicing yoga. I think that having more information as to why yoga is so beneficial for men in particular will help.

Firstly, men aren’t as flexible as woman. This is natural and has nothing to do with who you are. Men, who practice yoga, recognize it actually requires a lot of upper body strength which woman naturally lack at first. There is a common misconception that you must be flexible BEFORE you start yoga. However, do you already know how to cook before you take cooking lessons? Do you already know how to swim before you take swimming lessons? It’s like anything new, you may know the basics but you go to practice and learn so we’re able to progress. The great thing about a yoga practice is that it’s all about YOU! It’s your OWN practice and YOU have full control over how far you want to take it. Whether you’re focusing on flexibility, meditation and/or strengthening your muscles you’ll leave feeling refreshed and have had an entire body workout for any age and/or size as well.

So let’s dive right into the benefits of yoga for men.

Athletics & Strength:

Practicing yoga and regaining the flexibility within your muscles will aid in faster recovery times. Expand your range of motion which in turn assists with reaching deeper muscle tissue. Practicing actually oxygenates the blood, creating more energy when you finish the exercise as opposed to depleting the body of it so you’re able to have more stamina and exercise for longer. Last but not least you work every system: cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular and endocrine in a complete FULL body workout as opposed to one area of the body at a time and/or day. Yoga also decreases the buildup of lactic acid within your blood that accumulates during your working out, which can relieve muscle stiffness, discomfort and cramps.


Believe it or not, men actually have higher stress levels than women. Yoga can and will improve your mental focus, in part by clearing your mind during the workout helping you focus on you and your body. The meditative aspects of yoga that will allow for stress relief will also help with the discipline of your mind to make it easier to focus on everyday daily tasks. Using yoga to improve your concentration and focus will in turn helped you achieve goals and win in your respective sport and/or activity.

So let’s REALLY grab your attention by combining strength, flexibility and concentration, we move onto the best part…


Great sex is an ultimate MIND & BODY experience…SO IS GREAT YOGA! Combining strength, flexibility, increased blood flow, endorphins and last but not least, opening your heart…you get BOTH of these things!! Not only does yoga aid and improve sex, but in some case can actually treat and prevent sexual dysfunctions.
There are specific postures that aid and assist in improving sexuality. Take Eagle Pose for example, this is a posture that sends fresh blood and oxygen straight to the sexual organs. This serves as an assist for men when wanting to vitalize their bedroom prowess by toning and approving the function of their sexual organs. Practicing yoga can also help in delaying ejaculation by teaching you how to draw your energy back inward resulting in a full body/mind orgasm. When I speak on specific energy I’m referring to Kundalini energy. Kundalini is untapped energy (prana) at the base of the spine that can be drawn up through the body awakening each of the seven chakras. Full enlightenment and complete bliss occurs when this energy is released and reaches the Crown Chakra. This involves strengthening and conditioning of the pelvic floor which consists of specific postures in which the pelvic floor is lifted and lowered ensuring swifter moves during intercourse. When doing Triangle or “Trikonasana” (My FAVE pose) it ensures a better cardiovascular activity which aids in more stamina during sexual encounter, while inverted head positioning or “Handstand” against the wall improve blood supply to all part of human body vastly improving the toning up process.

Yoga is a direct link to achieving complete mindfulness-living in the present moment. I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t want more of THAT in their lives. Making sure you research different styles of yoga that support your specific requirements. Ask questions and simply just give it a try. Like anything new, it may be hard at first but don’t give up.

If you’re interested in private lessons and live in/around the Toronto, Mississauga or Oakville area PLEASE feel free to contact me. I’d be more than happy to meet with you or some friends to give it a try.
You can reach me by email for questions/inquires at: and/or follow me on twitter @rosepetalcheeks

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Everyone is always interested in the pose I display in my twitter picture, and the one in my profile picture on this blog. It’s called mermaid or in Sanskrit, “Eka Pada Rajakapotasana” which is really just One legged king pigeon pose variation. However, I prefer the name “Mermaid” This stems from my immense LOVE for water…and one of my favorite movies, “The Little Mermaid”

I remember watching one of my friends, Amanda do this very pose during a practice we use to go to together every Wednesday. It was during our teacher training and I remember watching her grace, flexibility and strength as she moved deeper into this posture. It was beautiful to watch and I TOLD myself, I WILL do this pose one day.

This isn’t a posture where you can just get down on the floor and maneuver into it. Although you may be flexible, you would be missing the entirety of the posture and poses designed to lead up to its vastness.

A Yoga pose is like life…You need to enjoy the journey and everything leading up to it. If you only focus on one goal/end result you may miss out on some amazing experiences.

Mermaid is definitely designed to be a hip opener, lengthen the spine and completely open the heart. I tend to do a lot of posture designed to open these 3 concepts as these are usually where people hold stress and fear.
Starting your practice with Surya Namaskar A and B. As your body warms up, start to cultivate strength through the upper and lower extremities as you move through each of the Sun Salutations. Encourage your mind to let go of unnecessary thoughts and soften into the experience and flow.
As per my previous post below about being flexible and its benefits. THIS is a posture where flexibility and HUGE range of motion is definitely required. I don’t advise anyone to try this without the right supervision and guidance by a certified yoga instructor. Above all, you know your body better than anyone, but I do advise you to really tune into yourself and when only you’re ready to move deeper.
There are a few reasons that this posture is my favorite. It was a goal I desired and achieved. It allows me acknowledge and take complete control my fears of back bending and heart opening, and ultimately feels SO good. I always smile during this pose… Really though, if you know me, I’m smiling all the time ;)

The beginning of this posture deals with Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or more simply, pigeon pose. One of my many favorite poses which opens the groin, hips and psoas. It gives a great stretch to the iliotibial (IT) band. This is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh. The gluteal muscles attach to the top while the lower part attaches to the tibia, just below the knee. It functions primarily as a stabilizer. This can become very sore when over used and the pain can be felt along the outside of the knee and through the outer hip. Starting in an upright position and letting the hips relax and open, moving closer to the ground. When ready, using your breath to allow you to take your chest to the ground, moving deeper into the pose if your body permits. Take a few minutes and relax, taking in the amazing stretch. Keeping the toes curled under, and squaring your hips with the front of the room will ensure a proper expanse.

When you’re prepared to move deeper, bending the straight leg behind you into the body bringing the heel closer to your torso. Reaching back to help bring the bended leg closer feeling the stretch through the front of the thigh stretching the Rectus Femoris. With every breath, relax and bring the leg closer.
Please keep in mind the steps to move into the pose and that they may not all happen in one day. Making sure you appreciate each step along the way and acknowledge how far you’ve come from day one.

The last part is wrapping your arm around the foot so the top of your foot sits nicely on the eyes on the elbows. Taking the opposite arm behind the head then linking the fingers together. This will open the shoulders, chest and the heart so you may shine bright.

Enjoy each of the steps toward this pose and when reached, the end result and all its magnitude…don’t forget to smile!

Happy Stretching! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Benefits to being Flexible

I talk to a lot of people about yoga and the benefits every day. A lot of my male clients and most of the males I speak to about yoga are interested but always respond with

“I’m not flexible enough…”

#WaysToPissOffAYogaTeacher …enough said…

There are two things to consider; the physical and the philosophical. Let’s start with the physical. Being flexible is all about being fit and healthy. If we are suffering from rigid bodies, we lack mobility and balance, and are more likely to be at risk for injury, discomfort, and/or even disease. It makes sense, right? If you have tight stiff muscles you’re more likely to injure, pull or tear something within yourself than someone who has a better range of motion.

There has also been studies done to show that having an improved range of motion helps with blood circulation and increases joint synovial fluid, which is a lubricating fluid that promotes the transportation of nutrients to the joints' articular cartilage. This will all help in drastically reducing joint deterioration and overall maintaining optimum health.

Now onto the philosophical. No one wants to suffer from being prisoners to our own senses; as we seek to quench our bodies desires, or to relinquish pain or suffering in our bodies. I can’t think of anything more hindering than a tight, unwilling body. I remember being very frustrated when I couldn’t reach my toes or open as far as I can now. It was exasperating, and inevitably the tighter we are, the less able we are to move freely, and the more we are likely to suffer from aches and pains and/or one day, complete immobility. Having a strong flexibly vessel means we’re able to free ourselves from our body and move forward focused on meditation which in turn opens our minds/spirits.

Overall health and happiness are the bottom lines to why flexibility is so important. Take advantage of the one thing you have control over, your health!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Private Lessons

I was approached the other day by a woman who wanted private lessons for yoga. 2x a week was her ideal. She was very eager and wanted to start immediately. When I asked her if she had practiced before, she said no. I told her I would do a free private lesson with her so she could see if this was really what she wanted and consequentially needed.

WHY take a private lesson?

• Too busy to make it to a yoga class
• Nervous to be in a class with others
• Need individual attention and/or support
• Recovering from an injury/accident
• You’ve never taken a yoga class before

Benefits of a private lesson:

Private yoga sessions offer the ability to work one-on-one with a knowledgeable and certified yoga teacher who can devise a practice that is modified to you and help you attain your goals.

In addition to that, a one on one private session can offer motivation & support both physically and emotionally; as a result helping you push through when you are engaged in difficult poses and/or challenging plateaus.

As a yoga teacher I usually plan ahead and have an idea of what I’d like to teach and concentrate on for that day. Sometimes these things change when I see my room full of students as well. As a trained yoga teacher I’m thankful I’m able to adjust my flow accordingly.
When working one on one you have to drop the plan and really just tune into what that specific student is asking for and needs.

I start my private lessons like a detailed interview. Asking questions about the students past history, emotionally and physically and I find out if the client has had any past or previous injuries or operations.

As a student you need to be honest and open with your yoga teacher and tell them exactly WHY you’ve chosen to do yoga and specifically why the need for a private lesson. This is all about YOU and YOUR needs so really take advantage of having all that specific attention and make sure you get exactly what you need. Also make sure you’re being challenged as it’s important we’re always moving forward.

Having a private session with a yoga teacher offers the student individual guided attention aimed specifically for them. A safe place for them to grow and feel secure about themselves. I look at yoga as a tool for transformation.
Whether I'm talking to someone about a posture, muscles or movements; I'm always thinking about how yoga can assist in transforming that person's life in a positive way.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Teaching my first yoga class of 2012 I was struggling to come up an inspiring theme. The only thing I could think about was “New Year’s Resolutions” as it was only January 3rd. This seemed so cliche to me.

WHERE do New Year’s resolutions come from?

Wholesome inspiration? Or unsettled issues in your life? I started to think about having my theme be “NO expectations” this was one of MY unsettled issues
When you’re doing something for the first time; you have little to no expectations. NO bar has been raised. So you tend to give it ALL you’ve got and do the VERY best you can do because you don’t know anything different. To me this is how yoga should be done ALL the time, everyday! Actually...why can’t this be done with EVERYTHING in our lives? Nonetheless, we always raise the bar and put pressure on ourselves and others to do better, go harder, and be stronger. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just be aware of where the intention is coming from within you.

“Expectations reduce joy”

I was asked what my biggest resolution is for 2012. After thinking about it and trying to put it into words on twitter...I responded “To just enjoy everything” What I meant by this is that I tend to RAISE that bar with everything in and around me. I “Expect” certain things in life and from people and sadly I’ve found myself, more often than not, disappointed. When we anticipate things in life and they don’t reach the expectations we’ve put on them, disappointment, sadness, anger is typically the outcome, therefore leaving us unhappy with life, ourselves and others.

I do believe there ARE some expectations that are necessary. When it comes to an employee, a loved one and family...but these also go hand in hand with respect and love as well.

So today when I taught my yoga class I simply asked my students to get rid of that bar, those “expectations”. Come into class as if it was your FIRST class ever and just let your body flourish and reap what it desires
Do NOT confuse not having expectations as NOT having goals though.

One thing I am a fan of is dreaming BIG! These are the visions that guide us to grow the way we want to. The difference between an aspiration/dream and an expectation is how we handle things when we come across something that has not had a positive outcome in our life.
Releasing ourselves from the expectation that something has to be a certain way, we may free our mind and we can understand the reasons behind why things are the way they are, work on acceptance and move towards turning them around to something more preferable.

It’s still early, so set your New Year’s resolutions, attainable goals and believe in yourself!