yoga

gentle mindful morning yoga

I’m excited to share with you a very gentle, morning yoga asana practice. It’s a lot of moving slowly, mobilizing the joints gently and massaging the back body mindfully. For me, this practice is perfect for the mornings when you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet and your mind is moving fastfastfast.

 

The practice might test your patience especially when you’ve got little to work with. And at the same time the practice may also strengthen your ability to be with whatever is or isn’t happening right now.

 

I’ve definitely noticed how quickly my mind is trying to close the gap between now and later. I’ve got the early spring enthusiasm for all that may come. Seeds have been planted and the soil is fertile. So many ideas, plans and possibilities oh my!

 

It’s so easy for me to forget to be when I’ve got so much that I wish to do. Is it the same for you?

 

This is why I choose to practice slow, mindful yoga – a style of yoga that uses the physical asanas or postures as opportunities to practice paying attention to the present moment without judgment. I’ve discovered that the practice of mindful yoga has helped bring more presence, patience and appreciation into my daily living. While at the same time offering me the many benefits that come from practicing yoga in general.

 

If you’d like, the invitation for this week is to choose at least 1 morning, if not 2, 3, 4, or 5 mornings, to notice the sensations in the body with each breath, each movement, each moment. To watch what comes up in the mind. To feel your feelings. To practice gratitude. All while gently rolling around on the floor and stretching the body.

 

If you’ve got more time, and are feeling like you could benefit from more energizing movement, you can extend the practice by pairing this gentle warm up with Sun Salutations. Or if you’re using this as a way to move into seated meditation, set a timer for however long you’d like to sit – 5, 10, 20 minutes or more.

 

May we all meet ourselves wherever we are today, with patience.

 

W/love,
Kris Moon

 

” Mindful yoga is a lifetime engagement – not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, with this very breath, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.”
– Jon Kabat Zinn

Ease into the Holidays with this Simple Supported Posture – Reclined Bound Angle

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Reclined bound angle pose is a pretty cushy set up, especially with the addition of props. This is a must-do practice for me heading into winter.  It’s beneficial to respiration, restful as can be, and helps keep spirits up.  As always, give it a go and then see for yourself if and how you benefit.

 

Here’s one variation of the pose with several ways to use props for greater comfort and ease. You can practice for as little as a couple minutes to as long as a half an hour, depending on how much time you have and what your personal needs for relaxation are at that particular time.

  

Props: 2 eggs (or rolled towels/blankets) / several blankets and a wall space

 

propsneeded

 

  • Fold a blanket in half to make a rectangle about the width of your torso and place it on the floor, a few feet perpendicular to a wall.
  • Place a second blanket on top of the first blanket, on the end of the blanket farthest from the wall.
  • Sit facing the wall, with your knees bent and your hips slightly in front of the blanket.
  • Lay back on the blankets so the chest is lifted and the back body is supported.
  • Use the second blanket to lift the head so the forehead is slightly higher than the chin.
  • Spread the thighs apart and bring your heels and soles of the feet together, toes can touch the wall to help keep feet together.
  • Let the knees relax out to the side and down toward the floor.  You can experiment with the distance between the feet and buttocks.
  • Place a folded blanket or egg under each thigh so there is no strain or pulling in the groin.
  • Inhale the arms over the head and stretch the abdominals without over bowing the low back/lumbar spine
  • Exhale relax the arms about 45 degree angle from the shoulder with the palms face up.
  • Press into the backs of the hands to lift and open center of the chest, gently draw the tops of the shoulder blades down, in toward the heart and then spread them forward and apart. The key is to keep the center of the chest lifted.
  • The body temperature decreases when you relax so be sure to cover the body with a blanket to stay warm.
  • Add an eye pillow, and a personal favorite for the winter months is to place blankets under the wrists and then fold them over the palm to create mittens for the hands.
  • Practice a few rounds of diaphragmatic / restorative breaths.  Then gently meditate on the natural breath. Download a guided meditation you can practice while resting in this posture.  Here’s one I’ve created as a free gift.  Anytime you notice the mind reviewing lists of gifts or other holiday to-do’s, simply return to sipping on the breath and enjoying the ease that is possible this season.
  • You can set a timer and be here for as long as you have, up to 20-30 minutes.

 

mittens eye pillow

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments, and enjoy!

xo, Kris Moon

 

A short practice to relax the body & refocus the mind

A short & simple yoga break, perfect for when you need to get out of your head and into your body. Feel free to use this mindful practice to prepare for seated meditation, release general tension or to refocus a scattered brain. A couple blankets and/or large towels may be useful.

 

Enjoy, Kris

Yoga for Stress Relief – A Mindful and Calming Video Practice

Yoga for Stress – a ‘yoga break’ to get you away from your work and into your body. Think more ease, less strain, mindful movements and conscious breathing. The sequence and techniques will help you move from the ‘flight or fight’ high alert sympathetic nervous system to the calmer ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic nervous system.  This particular ‘yoga break’ is perfect for transitioning from your work day into a relaxing evening at home.

 

Give it a go and then you’ll know – if you benefit from the practice it’s yours.  Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.  I love hearing from you!  Thanks for practicing with me.  xo, Kris

Yoga for a Good Night – A Lovely Practice to Help You Sleep Well

Yoga-for-Good-Night-ThumbnailAt the request of two very special students, I have created “Yoga for a Good Night”, a video practice intended to help you sleep well.   Together we’ll slip into a state of non-doing, learning ways to calm and quiet the mind.  The practice will end with a guided relaxation intended to lull your nervous system into a state of rest.  This is my first try at a longer video practice that is available as a digital download for purchase, and I’m pretty stoked about it.

 

So if you need help with your zzz’s, please visit my shop to purchase the practice.  And if the price is too steep, I’ve got you.  Try listening to this free guided meditation in your favorite relaxation position, like Vipariti Karani or Legs-up-the-Wall – no idea what that means, learn here.

 

For my Chicago folks, I’m also leading a special 90-minute workshop called Yoga for Insomnia: Improve the Quality and Quantity of your Sleep on Sunday, December 21st.  Give yourself the gift of sleep.  It’s kind of a necessity.  Head here for more details and to sign-up.

 

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback.  I love hearing from you!

 

With love,

Kris Moon

Yoga for Insomnia Chicago Workshop – Learn How to Sleep Better

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Join me for a special 90-minute Yoga for Insomnia workshop.
 
Do you struggle with falling asleep?  Do you wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to fall back asleep?  You are not alone.  About 60 million Americans a year experience insomnia frequently or for extended periods of time.  A study at Harvard Medical School found that Yoga improved sleep quantity and quality.  If you are someone who could benefit from improved sleep quantity and quality, please consider joining me for this special workshop.

 

We will discuss the root causes of insomnia and how to address them through Yoga principles and practices.  You will have time to personally explore what you learn and create a bedtime Yoga practice that addresses your individual needs.  You will also take home:
  • A set sequence of asana (yoga postures) for insomnia.
  • Breathing techniques that quiet the mind and calm the nervous system.  
  • Lifestyle choices that support sleep. 
  • Inspiration and encouragement.
No experience necessary.  $45 Guests // $30 Health Club Members & Residents 

Please register with Caroline Rawlings at crawlings@trumphotels.com // Make a Self-care Sunday out of it. Access to The Spa at Trump amenities, including sauna, steam room, relaxation lounge and heated pool are included with registration. 

Current Retreat & Workshop Offerings

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Make the most of your Asheville vacation rental with in-home yoga, meditation and relaxation instruction.  Choose from one of the packages below or customize your own personal mini-retreat.   

 

Deep R&R:  Rest deeply and relax completely with a practice that combines restorative yoga and guided meditation.  Props are used to support yoga postures.

 

Stress Reduction: Practice mindful yoga and learn breathing and meditation techniques rooted in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

 

Detox & Unwind:  Practice warming, slow flow yoga, including postures that flex, extend, invert and revolve the spine combined with specific breathing techniques and guided meditation.

 

Sunrise Practice:  Enjoy a gentle, awakening morning yoga practice with energizing and focusing breath work and mindfulness meditation.

 

Pricing:

– Single sessions start at $100 and discounts are available for multiple sessions

– Price based on a 60-75 minute session for up to 2 people

– All sessions are tailored to accommodate beginning and continuing practitioners.

 

Please send me an email or give me a call at 708-658- GROW (4769) with questions and to schedule your customized personal mini-retreat.

 

I sure hope you enjoy your stay in or near Asheville.  I would be happy to be part of your experience.

 

To learn what others say about their experiences with me, read reviews here

 

Peace to you,
Kris Moon

A great way to start your day: Surya Namaskar

newhome

Paul and I have arrived safely Asheville, North Carolina!   For those curious to know, we feel very welcomed here.  I snapped the photo above on a hike not far from where we are staying.  There is so much natural beauty here and we are happy and grateful to be here now.

 

As I promised before I left, I would continue to offer ways to Practice with Kris.  The practice I offer you all is a great way to start your day.  I recommend setting aside 25 minutes before the hustle and bustle of a new day begins to practice this variation of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation.  The backdrop for this video is one of my favorite places to practice: along the lake by the Planetarium in Chicago.  It might be getting too cold now, but if you feel inspired, you can always take your mat outside and enjoy the beauty offered here for free.

 

I encourage you to make the practice your own.  Meaning that depending on how your body and mind is feeling on any given morning, you may end up adding more rounds or dialing it back and taking the gentler variations I offer.  Maybe you add a few minutes of meditation at the end, or lengthen your time in your final resting posture.  Whatever you do, just do it.  Or, as my beloved teacher and mentor Gabriel Halpern says, “Hit the mat!”

 

Give yourself the gift of a more consistent yoga and mindfulness practice and I promise you will benefit.  I hope you all find the practice useful, and as always, feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hello.

 

With love,

Kris Moon

From ‘you guys’ to ‘y’all’

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Recently my husband and I decided it is time to explore a new place.  At the end of this month we’ll move to the Great Smoky Mountains just outside of Asheville, North Carolina.  We’ll certainly miss our family, friends and community like you, but we are excited for a new adventure as we continue to learn, grow and enjoy this wild and precious life.

 

If you’d like to stay in contact, then I sure hope you do.  I intend to offer a Yoga retreat as early as next Spring 2015. Turns out where we’re moving actually has a full 3 months of Spring!  See ya later Sprinter.  I’ll still offer online video practices, and every now and then, I’ll send you some news about upcoming opportunities to Practice with Kris.  I’ll be back in Chicago for the holidays and will hold a special workshop at the Trump then.  So this is not it y’all! (I’m already practicing my southern’isms.)  Click here to stay in touch. 

 

I’ll still be here in Chicago and teaching through September, so here’s my current teaching schedule.  It would be a joy to practice together.  The classes at West Loop Athletic Club (WAC) and Wicker Park Athletic Club (WPAC) and Lincoln Park Athletic Club (LPAC) are free with a guest pass.  Let me know if you’d like to be my guest at any of the following classes:

 

Friday 9/19, 10-11:15am at WPAC, Slow vinyasa flow 
Friday, 9/19, 4:30-5:30pm at WAC, One hour yoga
Friday 9/19, 5:30-7 pm at WAC, Slow power flow 
Saturday 9/20, 12:30-2pm at WAC Multi-level yoga 
Thursday, 9/25, 6am-7am at LPAC One hour yoga 

 

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or just to say hi.

 

With love,
Kris Moon

September Restorative

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Join me for a 2-hour Restorative Yoga Class at Trump Chicago on Sunday, September 14th.

 

Summer can leave us feeling drained and sometimes feeling like we need a vacation from our summer vacation.  If that sounds familiar, then please consider taking time out to take care of yourself so that you don’t get burnt out.  And if you’re already burnt out, then just say yes already.

 

In this 2-hour class, we will blend a slow flow Asana practice with mindful breathing, and combine gentle and supported postures with guided meditation. Aromatherapy and candle light will be used to set the tone for a calming restorative experience.  Not only will you leave feeling rested, we will practice ways to:
  • Calm the nervous system and quiet the mind. 
  • Melt away stored tension and restore wholeness and balance.  
  • Decrease stress and feelings of anxiety. 
  • Increase feelings of inner peace and wellbeing.
No experience necessary.  Just come in comfortable clothing, ready to recharge.
$30 Health Club Members // $40 Trump Tower Residents & *Practice with Kris* Guests 

 

Please register with Caroline Rawlings at crawlings@trumphotels.com // Make a Self-care Sunday out of it. Access to The Spa at Trump amenities, including sauna, steam room, relaxation lounge and heated pool are included with registration.