Why downward facing dog is one of my FAVORITE poses/stretches

WHY I LOVE IT:

Downward facing dog stretches the calves, hamstrings, shoulders, arms… from toes to fingertips, this pose does it all. AND, there is so much you can do with it.

While there is value in holding the pose (deep stretch! endurance!), I love continuously moving in this pose—bending my knees, sometimes both at the same time, or peddling the heels back one at a time, sometimes going into a side stretch when I’m peddling each heel back… coming up onto my toes for a moment… dropping the forearms down to dolphin for a bit… dropping onto my forearms for dolphin pose… rolling into plank pose, then back into downward facing dog… there’s a LOT you can do here.

Outside of sun salutations, I love spending a few moments in downward facing dog before and/or after running. Try it out before or after your next workout.

Play around with this pose. I will say, I didn’t always like it as much as I do now, but I love it now. So play with it, keep moving and adjusting, and keep breathing.

TIPS:

Make sure you are “pawing” the mat/ground, distributing the weight through all the fingers to protect the wrists. Play around with this and find that feels good to you.

Start with your knees bent then work your heels toward the ground for a deeper lower body stretch.

Bend the knees for a deeper stretch through the shoulders.

Bend knees, tip pelvis forward, and straighten knees to go deeper into pose.

If you are pregnant, make sure there is enough room between your legs for your belly. (This goes for all forward folds as well).

on doing 50 million things

Over the last few months my Instagram especially has been turning into yoga-run-hike, and yet is still entitled “alliebarnesyoga”. I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve been thinking, maybe I should turn it into something more generic… alliebarnes… alliebarnesactive… alliebarneswellness… etc.

But, yoga is my profession. It’s the profession I want. Running and hiking are merely hobbies and where a lot of my recreational ambitions are. But yoga? Yoga is what I think about. Yoga is what tie those together, even in the process of breathing deeply, of pondering chakras while hiking, of meditation and stretching and all the things that tie energy together. Balance.

So, alliebarnesyoga! But I hope you enjoy hearing about the other things as much as I love sharing them. Any yogi-runner-hikers out there? Everyone has a niche, right? (Plus natural remedies and essential oils, occasionally. It all ties together in my mind, or at least I feel quite good with the balance in my life right now, and in what I share).

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about this. We both have so many hobbies and at different times in our lives have felt like that’s a bad thing, that we need to find our one thing and stick to it. We both individually have had to learn that it is okay to do a lot of different things! I don’t need to just do one thing. I love that. She has a nice mix of the active and creative like I do. She’s someone I can talk for hours with because our souls are just so similar. It’s incredible. And speaking of…

I’m working on a new project and I’m quite excited about it. Part of it consists of interviews with very fascinating people (the friend I mentioned above is one of the interviews, so you will actually have the chance to witness some of those long conversations I have with her, haha!) — and people who are not only fascinating, but are wise and wonderful. Best of the best. I’ve done two interviews so far and it’s just the best. (Note: if you know anyone who is an athlete and cross trains with yoga, send them my way! I’d like to chat with them about their experiences).

Can you tell this is just a thought dump? But it sure feels good to just share.

It feels good to move forward, to do things. Honestly, a lot of things in the big picture of my life right now don’t feel right. It’s kind of the pits. But when I started remembering past ambitions and things that feel fun/good to do, and as I’ve begun pursuing those things… even if the big picture feels wrong right now, the little steps within it feel right. Or have begun to feel right. I have faith that they will lead to more— more ideas, more light, more joy, more connection, more life.

* I’d love to hear what projects you’re working on, what is bringing you LIFE right now. However, I’ve decided to get rid of comments on my blog— I got tired of getting so much spam! So find me on Instagram (@alliebarnesyoga) or feel free to send me an email (@gmail.com) to share your thoughts!

Testimonials! Thank you!

I have taught yoga for university organizations, church women’s groups, at libraries, event centers, and substance abuse rehabilitation centers. I love teaching, and I love working with so many incredible people as they work toward their own goals in yoga and in life. Here are some testimonials from some past students. Want your feedback featured on this page? Send me a message and I’ll add it in! Want to practice with me? Find my teaching schedule at the “Yoga” link above.

“Allie’s ability to reach all skill and physical levels in yoga makes her a very effective teacher. Her kind and knowledgable demeanor put all at ease and invite a sense of wellbeing and trust in all the classes she teaches.” – Kylie B.

“I loved doing prenatal yoga with Allie! She really helped me feel relaxed and connected to my changing body! Her voice is so incredibly soothing, and I love her peaceful energy. I definitely recommend her!” – Chantel S.

“Allie’s prenatal yoga was amazing for my pregnant body! After I took her class, I felt rejuvenated and I had more energy. I absolutely loved the way her class was structured and would recommend it to anyone!” – Jeni B.

“Yoga with Allie is both fun and relaxing! She provides a friendly atmosphere for her classes and is knowledgeable about what she teaches.” – Mic L.

moving through the heaviness

There are a lot of things I want to build through this company, and sometimes it’s timing that prevents them from happening…

…and sometimes it’s just me, the situations around me, and I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

You know?

That’s been this season. Wins: I’ve been teaching two wonderful yoga classes a week (Mondays at noon at the Startup Building—which is WAY better than it’s original early morning time slot—and on Saturday mornings with BYU Women’s Services and Resources), have been asked to teach yoga more for student housing events or for Relief Society events around the Provo area, and have been given some opportunities to begin making an income with my doTERRA team. I was featured on the Braid blog [link], which was a huge honor. And there have been a few other little things that show me that I am right where I’m supposed to be.

But then there are the things that I want to do, but haven’t done yet: begin a monthly women’s hiking group, grow my Startup Building yoga classes to the point where I can start donating the $ from some classes to charity, and find ways to help individuals see how yoga can help them in their specific situations.

Then there are the things like realizing that I’m not good at daily blogging! I’ve always been a keep-it-to-the-point kind of person (usually…), as evidenced by my almost-always-shorter-than-requested college essays (why fluff it up?). In that way, I’m much better at Instagram. But even then, I could be better at it 🙂

I guess what I’m saying is…I’m learning to move through the heaviness. There are a lot of things I want to do, and I’m going to work to do those.

Most immediately:

– Yoga classes are still happening! We’ve had some new faces at my Monday noon yoga class at the Startup Building and it is the best. First class is free, $5/class after that. (Employees in the building + DevMountain students attend for free always, as a perk!)

– Essential oil BOGO’s this week with doTERRA. It’s a great time to enroll with a wholesale account with my team if you haven’t already. For today’s deal at least—buy an OnGuard and get a Lavender free—the free lavender itself usually costs $28 retail. A wholesale account costs $35. It just about evens out, and that’s awesome. There’s a new BOGO every day this week. Check out my Instagram stories for details, or send me a message to chat about essential oils. I use them every day (and happened to have used both OnGuard and lavender yesterday!). To read about why I finally decided to dive into oils and home remedies, click here.

– Next Wednesday, March 1 at 10am MST I’ll be teaching a Facebook Live class, Essential Oils for Emotional Trauma Recovery. Whether you have experienced emotional trauma, betrayal trauma, etc., know someone who has and want to offer them some love, or simply want to know how to use oils to help you feel good every day, this class will be full of information + my own and others’ experiences. If you join me live, you’ll also be able to ask questions at the end. On the Daily Essential Co Facebook page [here].

– And I do intend to host a local hike for women soon! It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for two months now, and I just hesitate to do so when the weather and trail conditions are sometimes so unknown with the ever-changing Utah weather. But this will happen soon. Follow me on Instagram for the latest updates on this, and all my other endeavors!

Let’s keep moving forward. <3