Came up with version today practicing at a friend’s home during one of my breaks before going back to teacher train.
I don’t have stairs like this at home so it was fun getting creative with them here! Maybe u do and this will inspire even more possibilities!
Using the stairs for back bend push ups rocks because you can keep way better alignment in your neck and shoulders this way, and get more range of motion too. This means you get to build more strength in your upper back, shoulders and arms!
Keep reading for my alignment tips on this powerhouse of an exercise… (more…)
I double dog dare you to rock this and see what you are really capable of when you turn up your inner voice of ENCOURAGEMENT in the midst of the thigh BURNING intervals!
This interval consists of one powerful exercise, with a jog recovery. The cycle is 45 seconds of high intensity, and 1.5 minute of recovery where you deliberately allow your heart rate to come down and your muscles to recover.
Here is the challenge: (more…)
So after seeing QuestBars all over the fitness world on Instagram I was really curious. “What is all this hype about? Are these bars healthy?” Were just a couple of my instinctual questions. And of course, “What do they taste like?”
I recently sampled a variety pack of flavors and one of their Peanut Butter Cup treats too.
I had a good handful of questions for the people over there at Quest to find out more about what really is inside of these protein packed, low carb bars that taste really really good. (more…)
Your quads are made up of 4 muscles: the Rectus femoris, the Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, and the Vastus intermedius. They are large muscle groups and so when we work them and build more muscle in them, we are putting our body into a greater potential to burn fat too!
This circuit was part of my Friday yoga and fitness fusion class and the ladies loved it and their quads were feelin’ it for days (mine too!).
Exercise 1: Single leg lunges. Keeping your front heel grounded and your back heel lifted bend both knees and as you extend your legs straight hug your muscles up from your feet into your hips. Do 40 with left leg forward. I used 15 lbs. in each hand. Then switch and do 40 reps on the other side.
Exercise 2: Kneeling in the floor with your knees sits bone distance apart, point your toes and press your toenails into your mat to help stabilize your shins. Holding a 5 lb hand weight at your chest, and keeping your hip flexors open, hinge back and hold for a few seconds before coning back up. Do 15 reps. (more…)
This workout will not only tone and lift your butt, but will challenge your balance and strengthen your entire lower body too!
Not only do I workout and exercise barefooted, I even hike in the Kauai jungle barefoot at times too. Nothing like squishy Kauai mud in between your yoga toes.
I always encourage my yoga and fitness retreaters to walk barefoot on the property we stay as soon as we arrive. The energy of the earth is soaked up by what Chinese medicine refers to as the primary entry point for Qi, or in Hawaii we call it “mana”, and in Sanskrit “prana” is located near the ball of the foot. This aids in at attuning to the rhythm of a new time zone and a new place! (more…)
How AWESOME is this?!
“Hi Samantha! I wanted to share that it’s been a month since I started taking fitness classes with you. I started with once a week, but the last two weeks I did two classes a week. My body has changed SO much!
I noticed the difference in ONE single class – in my muscle tone and posture. In just four weeks, especially the last two, my entire body shape has shifted.
My spine is straighter, I hold myself better, I have much more strength, my energy has easily doubled, the amount of sleep I need has gone down, my body is leaner, my shoulders are sexy, my tush is firming and lifting (my husband asked me where I was hiding the rest of it this morning), and I generally feel like I can greet life with so much more confidence.
I have moved through SO many energetic, emotional and physical edges into new space and awareness in just a few weeks, it’s incredible! Thank you for helping me ground and come into my body in such a powerful and aligned way.” ♥ xoxoxo ♥Cristina (more…)
Did you know that by spreading your toes you activate your outer shin muscles, enlivening your legs with more strength and and awareness?
Here my foot is “flointed”. Ankle joint pointed, toes flexed and fanned. So, I have refined articulation in my ankle joint and my toes! Oh yeah baby.
But, I am not just doing this to show off my sandy feet. There is a much bigger purpose to working our feet in all yoga poses and exercises too.
Let me break-it-down a wee bit… (more…)
Yogatoes infuse your asana with consciousness and liveliness. Just try to do any pose with relaxed feet, especially a forearm-stand like this, and FEEL the difference.
Here I am playing with 3 different expressions on my feet. Honestly, the one that feels best to me here is pointed toes. But in every variation my feet are awake.
Therapeutically there are reasons why we would choose to floint our foot or flex our foot and spread our toes. Our knees benefit greatly by optimally aligning our ankles and toes.
Not only will this post help you get your heels to the ground sooner and with more understanding in your body, but it will lead you through step by step principles, so you don’t compromise your low back. Yay!
It is quite common to see a practitioner trying so hard to root his/her heels, that they totally lose the alignment of their low back. This is silly. Why compromise the longevity of your low back, just to get the outer form of the pose to “look” a certain way (a.k.a. heels down)?
Psst, just an inside note: You DON’T have to have your heels all the way to the ground to enjoy a rockin’ down dog. Let me explain…
Plyometrics are explosive exercises that work fast twitch muscles. Back in the day when I was a competitive gymnast, a large portion of our conditioning included this type of training. We would move about the spring floor in a X pattern doing countless amounts of tuck jumps, springing over mats, and exploding off of them. I am pretty sure we use to call it “torture” back then. However, today I have a whole new appreciation for the conditioning that trained us to be at the top of our game.
Today’s exercise challenge weaves in 4 different plyo exercises. Work each exercise with an intention of expressing your unlimited capacity for power. Warm up prior to this routine and spend about 5 minutes cooling down with stretching. (more…)
I believe it’s a great question to be aware of.
When you are sad, depressed or down in the dumps, you more than likely are dwelling somewhere in the past.
When you are feeling stressed, anxious or nervous, more than likely your thoughts are in the future making up something that hasn’t even happened yet.
Silly right? But you know you go there. At least I know I do.
But in the moment, the simple act of breathing can feel like ecstasy and water or the caresses of touch on your skin so pleasurable. (more…)
“In a society preoccupied with how best to raise a child, I’m finding I need to mesh what’s best for my child with what is necessary for a balanced mother. I am recognizing that ceaseless giving translates into giving yourself away. And, when you give yourself away, you are not a healthy mother, and you are not a healthy self.
So, now I’m learning to be a woman first and a mother second. I am learning to just experience my emotions without robbing my children of their individual dignity by feeling their emotions too. I am learning that a healthy child will have his own set of emotions and characteristics that are his alone. And, very different from mine.
I am learning the importance of honest exchanges and feelings because pretenses don’t fool children. They know their mother better than she knows herself.
I am learning that no one overcame her past unless she confronts it. Otherwise, her children will absorb exactly what she’s attempting to over come.
I am learning that words of wisdom fall on deaf ears if my actions contradict my deeds. Children tend to be better impersonators than listeners. (more…)
Do you know the feeling of taking a huge leap of faith? Do you ever jump off the edge of your comfort zone? Do you go after those things that really excite you, even though at the same time frightens the crap out of you? When was the last time you really LET GO?
I have recently jumped off an energetic “comfort zone” and WOW was there immense freedom on the other side of that leap for me. Profound, energizing and exciting.
When was the last time you truly sat with the energy of your frustrations, blame or even that feeling of having to figure it out or fix something? (more…)
It is mentality like this that makes me so sad for the way that we have become unconsciously programed as a human race! This mentality gets me going because it is how we keep this disharmony between our bodies and our minds alive.
However, the woman who left me this comment inspired my public response which led to the most astonishing comments I could ever imagine. Some women literally let go of years and years of bondage and judgement on their own bodies. It is because of these women’s heart felt sharing and comments that I am making it into a blog post today.
I believe these are the very contemplations and conversations that are giving us back our freedom and the gift of authentically loving our bodies for the miracles that they truly be.
Below is my response to the above judgement about my boobies needing to be surgically altered…
When it comes to receiving amazing results in our bodies and in our lives there is one factor you can count on to bring you success. Without this one factor in place, you will go round-and-round and up-and-down struggling with falling short of where you want to be and how you want to feel.
However, with this one factor in place, you will maximize your potential, turn aches and pains into freedom, have more energy, enjoy a more intimate connection to yourself, and feel really good about you!
These are AMAZING benefits offered by putting just one thing into place, right?! Today I am going to share with you my personal secrets at how I stay CONSISTENT in showing up for my practices and why this is key to your success too.
This all-levels yoga class is sure to refine your practice and realign you to your highest intentions!
In this heart centered yoga series we will explore a wide variety of asana, open with a centering chant, utilizing the Universal Principles of Alignment to access our body’s greatest potential, theme our series around SELF LOVE, and bathe in the gifts these practices offer us.
Space is limited to 6 students, so register today to secure your spot! (more…)
There were 8 trainees, amazing beings to say the least that came from the Big Island and California. Karunamayi and I co-taught the 100 hours which made up Part 1 of our two part training.
Working besides Karunamayi in this offering has been nothing shy of amazing! Her dedication and devotion to serving Divine radiates from her practices and her day to day routine. Every morning she opened our day by leading us in kirtan and meditation. Every day we would close with chanting too. Beginning and ending our days exploring and honoring the space of supreme consciousness = awesome sauce! (“Awesome sauce” was a phrase Karunamayi said at times. I love it!) (more…)
If you recall in July of 2011 we did a yoga class fundraising money for little Carmen, whom at the time was battling Leukemia at the young age of 4 years young.
Carmen has recently left her body and passed on to the spirit world. I can not imagine the pain in her parent’s hearts, and at the same time I am in awe as I see their hearts remain open to serve the world and find a everlasting cure for blood cancers!
Heather and Chris, Carmen’s parents, are now on a mission. They are 2 powerful people, living in love and faith, and it is my honor and pleasure to help support them as they follow this heart calling to bring healing to their hearts and to the hearts of countless. (more…)
I will be hosting this yoga retreat that will infuse fitness, nature, meditation and nourishment into one grand, soul quenching experience. I am already super excited about the unique offerings that will be added to this special week full of yoga and a connection to nature and our hearts. The possibilities are endless. The blessings of Kauai and our deep practices will be flowing in abundance. Come play, connect and enjoy.
Included in this magical week long yoga retreat is: (more…)
“I can’t thank you enough for your knowledge and your talent and your ability to work with so many different kinds of body issues and make it all feel so good and enlightening! And your “heart” work is awesome as well.” -Patty Brown Allen, former student of Samantha Fox Olson
I dream of a planet where each and every one of us are lit up, living in our fullest potentials with our miraculous bodies. Take a moment and just image that! Wow! So fun, so powerful, beautiful and exciting!
I usually don’t make “New Year’s Resolutions.” Why? Because from past experience and from witnessing others, I had a belief that they were made to be BROKEN. So, I decided not to make them and simply live each day to the best of my ability. Sometimes I rock it, sometimes I don’t.
But the end of 2012 has been full of insights and growth for me. I have really been looking at the ways that I think about things, and have been unrooting the beliefs that are not true and that are holding me back from reaching my fullest potential in all areas of my life.
This has been so huge for me that I must share it with each of you. In the hopes to keep this post from getting too long, I will share just a little bit about all this right now, and I will be expanding on all of this in 2013. Yay!!! (more…)
I am excited to share this news with you because I personally LOVE green smoothies and know how much they have benefited me!
If you’ve been consuming one too many holiday treats, feel bloated from all of the feasts, and you are still in your pajamas, then this challenge will help you reset your body for a new you in the new year.
This Green Smoothie challenge will kick off the new year on January 2. Replace at least one meal a day with a nutrient packed green smoothie. We will share recipes, tips and challenges along the way. It’s free and a great way to change your diet. We’ll cheer you on, answer all of your questions, and make you a green smoothie rawkstar! (more…)