Friends! You know what’s difficult? Writing this post THREE times due to a WordPress glitch. You know what else is more difficult? Writing this post slightly tipsy (it’s the holidays, y’all, and I’ve had a few Chardonnays. What of it…?). But, you know what? Mama Fox promised you 12 Days of Giveaways, and by golly if I’m not true to my word. And holy moly, am I good to that word. BEHOLD the treasures I have for you.
What Is This 12 Days of Giveaways?
It’s pretty self-explanatory and embarrassingly unoriginal, but what can I say? I love doing giveaways because you love them and I get to shine the spotlight on rad people (see: Laura Ahrens) and great companies (see: Manduka and Kira Grace).
What’s Going On Here?
As if I needed to tell you, the holidays, while intentionally joyous, are fraught with stress and hassle. Enter Laura Ahrens Yoga. This miracle lady, Laura Ahrens (famed for her breathtaking poses in yoga and art books and one of the best teachers out there), has come to our rescue with this relaxing, restful series of postures created just for The Little Foxes (hurrah!) that will ease stress and bring you relief during a crazed holiday season (and beyond). Seriously, make time for these. They’re simple, can be done anywhere and with little equipment, and make the days more enjoyable.
And because she’s just that fucking amazing (seriously, how grateful am I to have this yogic powerhouse and incredible person share her time and expertise with all of us? VERY.), she’s also included a Yoga Starter Pack giveaway (see below, eager beavers), that includes her favorite top from amazingly conscious company, Kira Grace (winner’s choice) and a selection of her favorite Manduka Pro Lite Mat (in the winner’s choice of limited edition print color). Boy, not only are you relaxed, but you just might get a gift for yourself or someone you fancy quite a bit.
About Ahrens Yoga
If you haven’t heard of master yogi, Laura Ahrens by now, well, you’ve prob been sleeping in the Hunger Games cave. This gal is the teacher in Boston and the east coast, and also just happens to be the sista of my gal, Julia Ahrens who runs Miakoda (can you tell I heart this fam hardcore?). Her approach is compassionate (see: Ahimsa), tailored to clients of all ages, sizes, and situations, and completely badass. And she’s a beautiful (see pic above and duh) and fun-as-fuck person, to boot. Need I say more? Check out the series she created for you (with the photographic artistry of Amber Elise Photography – who’s a bad bitch in her own right) to survive the holidays and enter the giveaway to get her pro-favorite gear. Yes, we should all be so darn lucky. When the holidays (or any times) get too hectic, stop, drop, and give in to this relaxing and effortless series that will set things right and retool your perspective back to what matters most – joy, the people around you, and the abundant love in the universe. Ah, that’s better.
The Series That Will Help You Survive the Holidays With Grace
Posture 1: Supported Tarasana (Star Pose)
What Am I Doing? Bring the soles of the feet together, knees apart a generous distance from the pelvis. Round the spine forward, with an option to settle the forehead down to a block. Breathe into the back of the body and soften the neck.
Posture 2: Dolphin Prep, Stage 1
What Am I Doing? Come to a tabletop position with knees under hips, elbows under shoulders. Clasp under the roundest part of the shoulder to find the appropriate distance for the arm bones, slightly narrower than shoulder distance. Come to a tabletop position with knees under hips, elbows under shoulders. Clasp under the roundest part of the shoulder to find the appropriate distance for the arm bones, slightly narrower than shoulder distance. Do not hold, this is a transition to Dolphin Prep, Stage 2.
Posture 3: Dolphin Prep, Stage 2
What Am I Doing? Unclasp the arm bones and place your forearms on the mat, parallel to one another. Hang the head, shrug the shoulders away from the ears, dome the upper back towards the ceiling. To up level, tuck toes under and straighten the legs for dolphin pose.
Posture 4: Child’s Pose (Balasana)
What Am I Doing? Rest the seat to the heels, chest to the thighs, forehead to the floor. If this pose feels uncomfortable for the knees, either place a blanket under the knees or rolled up between the thighs and calves, depending on the cause of discomfort. Breathe deeply into low belly and low back.
Posture 5: Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana Variation)
What Am I Doing? Extend the legs and cross the right foot over the left thigh, bending the knee. keep the left leg extended. Tent the right fingertips behind your back. Cross the left elbow over the right thigh. Inhale to lengthen the spine upwards, exhale to increase the twist while keeping length. This pose can also be detoxifying and can help ease digestion. Switch sides.
Posture 6: Supported Bridge (Salamba Setu Bandhasana Variation)
What Am I Doing? Lie flat on the back with the knees bent. Slightly tilt the pelvis and press the low back down into the floor. Keep that length as you lift the pelvis and set a block underneath the sacrum (avoid the lumbar vertebrae). Cross one foot over the opposite leg. Flex the foot and feel for muscularly sending the lifted knee slightly forward away from the pelvis. Breathe into the low belly and low back. Switch legs.
Posture 7: Supported Legs Up A Aall (Salamba Viparita Karani)
What Am I Doing? From supported bridge, lift the legs straight up towards the ceiling. Relax the neck and shoulders.
Posture 8: Legs Up A Wall (Viparita Karani)
What Am I Doing? To get situated, sit one hip towards the wall and lay the torso down as you slide the legs up the wall. Rest the torso against the ground. Sit bones as close to the wall as is comfortable. Use a blanket to cover the belly for a deeper grounding sensation. Face the palms towards the ceiling or one hand on the belly, one on the heart. This pose can be held for 15 minutes (or as long as you have time for) during the day to energize or before bed to help aid in sleep.
Man, I’m Relaxed. Wanna Win Stuff?
Not only did Laura create that totally sedating (in a good way) session for you, but she also wanted you to have a chance at winning her favorite yoga gear so you can really get in the spirit. That’s right: One lucky winner will receive a Kira Grace top of her choice and a limited edition (I can’t stress to you how rad this mat is) Manduka ProLite mat, made from recycled materials (whatta gal!). As in, this mat is ZERO WASTE and non-slip with just the right amount of cushion and stability. Perfect for hot and non-heated yoga devotees.
And the Kira Grace tops? Don’t even get me started (but do). Dozens of hot styles of tops to choose from, hot colors, differing levels of support (yes, I’m looking at you, my sisters in double-digit bosoms). And because they’re so hot damn rad and amazing, they wanted to winner to choose her perfect top, because Kira Grace acknowledges that we’re all unique and hot as all get out. And 100% of sales of selected items go to Off The Mat, Into The World, which is a fantastic charity bringing yoga to peeps who need it most. Love.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Laura of Ahrens Yoga, Manduka, and Kira Grace for making this incredible post and giveaway possible. Open to U.S. entrants only (but the series is for everyone, everywhere). I hope you enter and share this post with anyone who could use some relaxation and perspective this season and beyond. And this is only the beginning. We have 11 more days!