tofino yoga - energise and focus

Tofino Yoga: Energise & Focus

by Natalie Rousseau, Tofino


Try this sequence at home to bring more
energy and focus to your day. Enjoy!

tofino yoga: Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Start in standing position in the centre of your mat, with your feet hip width apart. Take a few moments here to connect to your breath and find your balance over both your feet. Gaze softly at a still point past the tip of your nose, releasing distraction. When you feel ready start to drop your weight down your right leg, through the sole of your foot and into the ground beneath you. With your hands on your hips turn your left knee out and lift your foot off the floor placing it on the inside edge of your calf or upper thigh. Avoid pressing on the inside of the knee joint. Raise your arms over your head once you feel steady. Hold for 5-10 slow deep breathes, coming out with control and repeating on the other side.

This simple balance pose focuses your concentration while strengthening knees and ankles and gently releasing the hips.

tofino yoga: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

With you feet still hip width apart, hinge at the hips and release the weight of your spine from your pelvis. Allow the back of your knees to remain slightly soft, if the legs are very tight bend the knees further. Hold each elbow with each palm and hang your head from your neck. Breathe deep, not rushing. Hold as long as is comfortable, coming back to standing slowly by rolling through the spine. Pause a breath or two before moving on.

This forward bend stretches out the legs and the spine, releasing tension.

tofino yoga: Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Step the feet one legs length apart, turning the right toes out 90 degrees. Bending your right knee place your right fingertips on the floor about six inches in front of your right toes (or onto a block if the legs are tight). Bring your weight into your right leg, dragging your left foot along the floor. When steady lift your left leg off the ground on an inhale breath, extending through your heel. To complete the pose float your left arm straight up, and gaze ahead breathing evenly. Hold as long as is comfortable, try 5-10 breaths, and come out slowly, with control. Repeat on the other side.

This balancing pose helps strengthen your core line of support while toning the sides of the torso and legs.

tofino yoga: Parvrita Prasaritta Padottanasana (Revolved Legs Wide Pose)

Parvrita Prasaritta Padottanasana
(Revolved Legs Wide Pose)

Again step the feet one legs length apart. Turn big toes slightly inwards. With an exhale breath fold at the hips placing your fingertips on the floor beneath your shoulders. Lengthen your spine from crown to tail. Placing your left hand below your heart on the ground lift your right arm up to the sky twisting from just above your navel. Gaze to the side or all the way up to your right thumb if the neck allows, hold for 5 deep breaths. Bring your right arm down on an exhale, repeat on the left side. Come back up to standing by bending the knees and lifting on an inhale breath, hands at your hips.

This standing twist stretches out the inner legs and the sides of the waist while releasing the low back.

tofino yoga: Purvotanasana Variation (East Stretch)

Purvotanasana Variation (East Stretch)

Come to the floor, bend your knees bringing feet to the mat hip width apart. Take your hands 6-8 inches behind you, turning fingertips in and spreading fingers wide. On an inhale breath lift up to a table top position finding a straight line from shoulder to hip to knee. Keep chin tucked to chest unless it is more comfortable taking the head back. Press down through your feet trying not to grip with your buttocks. Hold 5-6 deep breaths, come out slowly.

This simple energizing backbend opens up the chest and arms while strengthening the back of the body.

tofino yoga: Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

With your feet on the mat sit up tall and hold the back of your knees lightly. Gazing forward rock back slightly, lift your feet off the mat and bring your shins parallel to the floor, ankles touching. Don't allow your spine to round. Keep breathing, face and jaw relaxed. For challenge reach the arms out in front of you and straigten out your legs. Hold 5-6 breaths. Come out, repeat Purvotanasana and Ardha Navasana two more times each.

This pose strengthens the core line of the body and creates a cleansing heat.

tofino yoga: Janu Sirsana (Head to Knee Pose)

Janu Sirsana (Head to Knee Pose)

Sit straight with your legs stretched out in front of you. If the legs are tight and the spine rounds place a cushion beneath your sit bones. Bend your right knee placing the sole of your foot against the inside of your left leg. Fold at the hips and take hold of your left shin, ankle or foot with your hands. Relax your shoulders and maintain as long a spine as possible gazing past your toes. Hold 5-10 deep slow breaths, come out and repeat on the other side.

This seated forward bend stretches out the legs, spine and hips while quieting the mind.

tofino yoga: Supported Matseyasana (Supported Fish Pose)

Supported Matseyasana (Supported Fish Pose)

Using a bolster (rolled up towel or blanket works too) lay down with your spine and head supported, your pelvis and legs resting on the floor. If your low back feels pinched place another smaller cushion beneath your buttocks. Allow your arms to rest beside you, palms facing up, shoulders releasing towards the floor. Close your eyes, enjoy your breath, relax. Stay as long as you like, coming out by rolling into a fetal pose on your side.

Spend a few moments resting quietly here, or in a seated position, taking the time to notice how you feel before continueing on with your day.

Natalie Rousseau, ERYT. For questions or more info, call Natalie at 725-8363 or email

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