Back pain is often as elusive as it is frustrating. Many people suffer from it and it’s easy to feel down when it persists. For me, years of gymnastics, dance, stress, and structurally unsound yoga practices have contributed to strain in my lumbar spine and I have learned to utilize yoga and strength-based exercises to ease discomfort.
Here is a short sequence that assists in the release of the psoas, quads, and abductor muscles. When tight, these muscles act like back pain antagonists and it’s important to keep them supple. If you are having severe pain, only do what you can in this sequence, as not to provoke or inflame. If pain is manageable, do each pose for a few minutes each. Always listen to your body and never push through pain; seek a sensation that feels like a broad stretch, rather than a sharp sensation or jab. Variations are optional. The sequence takes between 15-20 minutes.
This sequence will help you feel relaxed and restored after long periods of sitting, traveling, and crossing time zones. It can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. Or, add a few of your favorite poses and take some extra breaths to create a longer practice.
This video was filmed in the wilderness in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Utilize these postures to feel more present with yourself and create a feeling of inner balance and calm. This sequence can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. Or, add a few of your favorite poses or take some extra breaths in each posture to create a longer practice.
To stay in touch with us about Romi’s upcoming 2018 Yoga Safari in the Okavango Delta, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 448-4111
I have many clients and friends that want to start practicing yoga, meditating, or exercising more, but find the process daunting or unapproachable. Even though I have been practicing and teaching yoga for many years, I can relate and often find it challenging to simply get on the mat. One thing I find extremely helpful with this yoga/exercise quandary, is to simply commit to five postures. That’s right FIVE POSTURES or simple exercises. We can all make time to do five poses and by setting the intention to just do five, we usually end up wanting more and extending the practice. Doing five poses a day is not overwhelming and only takes fifteen to twenty five minutes, depending on how fast you work through the sequence and how many variations you add.
Today is a new moon and a new time to commit to taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. Here’s a sequence that can help you jump start your day and motivate your self-care practice.
Pose 1: PLANK 10-20 breaths if done without variations. With variations, 5-10 breaths each
(Variation 1 and 2 Pictured below)
Additional Pose/Rest: Child’s Pose or Wide Knee Child’s Pose
POSE 2: Low Lunge with Rhomboid Squeeze
5-10 breaths holding lunge. 10-20 shoulder/rhomboid squeeze reps (pulse and squeeze shoulder blades together behind you, keeping hands active)
Variation 1: Gentle twisting low lunge (left arm not visible in photo and can reach above head to activate psoas/hip flexor stretch)
Pose 3: Side Stretch with Hip Opener; keep feet and arms active (both sides, 5-15 breaths)
Variation 1: Side Stretch with Hip Opener and Neck Release
We had such an amazing time with Peru this year, doing yoga, laughing, connecting with the community, and galavanting around sacred sites. What a blessing. I am currently starting the planning stage for our Retreat to Peru and Machu Picchu, 2015. Email me if you would like more information.
My article “Attractive Love Through Self Love: A Somatic Inquiry” was recently published online on Rebelle Society Click Here to Read
I am currently in Santa Barbara, California seeing private clients for massage, healing work, counseling, and yoga instruction. Email or call me for an appointment. Current group yoga class offerings include: Mondays & Wednesdays at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center 5-6:30pm. 32 East Micheltorena St. 93101.
There seem to be myriad practical and celestial events colluding in our favor right now. Be them occult, financial, interpersonal, or otherwise, such aspects are here to support us, and the most important way to embrace their innate wisdom is to slow down and pay attention.
Today marks the second new moon in January, also called the “Black Supermoon”, or “Perigree full/Perigree new” moon. This means the moon will appear as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal day. We must snack on metaphorical food here because you are not going to actually see this moon 🙂 For example, there is RAPID growth and transformation available to all of us right now. There is a bold newness to the times we are living in, and like a divine waiter, the universe is handing us a savory plate and asking us to take a bite. The wave-like aberrations of 2013 are starting to settle, and the tide is pulling back for us to see what is really necessary for the Path. If you are brave and willing to be real with yourself and those around you, the sky is the limit, albeit frightening at times. If you decide to go with business-as-usual methodologies and avoid your soul’s calling…. well…. good luck with that. You will be able to for a a short while, but I recommend pragmatically seizing this energetic cycle. Dive mindfully into whatever vision, creative recipe, or love connection that serves your highest good right now.
And Then Comes the Horse…
The Chinese believe that this new cycle commences the year of the Wood Horse (during the second new moon, after the winter solstice, which is today). This year offers us the opportunity to run with the passion of a wild horse in a glorious field. The energy can be impulsive, so it’s important to keep up mindfulness-based practices and quiet time, as not to get lost in the race. Impulsive purchases, business decisions, and erratic romantic choices are probably not a good idea. Horses also offer us the ability to be strong and act with steadfast conviction, so this is a great year to get shit done. We are being faced with real and honest truth right now. Hiding behind the antiquated, habitual behavior of 2013 will no longer serve us. If you are called to do something more profound, and more infused with love and service, this is an era where the proverbial solicitor of your Destiny will be selling you girl scout cookies, and you will like the flavor.
Here are some phrases that may sound familiar. If they do, I have offered some reframes.
“I’m just going to go with the flow even though this flow doesn’t quite feel right”
Reframe: “I acknowledge that this situation does not feel right. I am going to choose a better way that feels good”
“I cannot be myself around ____, but I feel stuck with him or her and don’t know how to move away”
Reframe: “My energy is sacred. I am conscious about who I share it with and choose to surround myself with people who inspire me, and support me to be more of who I am”
“This work situation does not serve my highest good, nor make me happy”
Reframe: “I am going to continue to explore options that support me to do what I am meant to do in this lifetime”
Reframe: “I commit to small steps each week that support my purpose, creativity, and authentic Self”
I hope some of these words will help you realize your full potential and just how amazing you are. Wishing you all the best in 2014 and Beyond…
Re: Healing Arts & Bodywork, mention this post to receive $40 off your next session! I am running this special through the entire month of February just to say thank you, and also give you all a little more incentive to take care of yourself this year. $60/hour instead of $100.
You are also welcome to use this promotion for GIFT CERTIFICATES for your loved ones, for Valentines day or beyond. Please note* This promotion applies to in-office sessions only. Special February outcall (in-home) rate is $100/hour (instead of $130). Like us on Facebook
Next Introduction to Yoga Weekend Course & Yoga Immersion
February 21, 22, 23
Sat/Sun 2-4pm $50
Offered as a three-week or one-weekend course, the Introduction to Yoga Course is the perfect place to begin the exploration of Yoga. This course is also perfect for those of you with yoga experience wishing to reawaken your interest and resume your practice.A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga and prepare you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes.
A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga
The study and practice of the fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning and alignment
detailed instruction on how to combine breath and movement
And please write a Yelp Review of Transformative Healing Arts if you are a Yelp user. Many Thanks! -Romi
Special Retreat Offering: Journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru
& Machu Picchu – May 8-17 2014
This May, join Romi Cumes for a transformational retreat to the Sacred Valley of Peru. This top-quality, ten day package beings and ends in the beautiful city of Cusco. Guests stay at the exquisite Willka T’ika Garden Retreat Center in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Inca.
Beauty & Sacred Sites
Each day, enjoy the rich scenery of Machu Picchu, Cusco and other incredible Incan sites, before returning home to Willka T’ika’s spectacular Chakra Gardens, luxury accommodations, and home-grown organic cuisine. Founder of Willka T’ika, Carol Cumes, will be offering a special garden tour to introduce guests to the gardens and Incan medicinal plants. Guests receive first-class guide service to sacred Incan sites, villages, and ruines in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Overnight accommodations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu are also included in this package, as well as a day trip to an isolated Quechua mountain school, sponsored by the Willka T’ika Children’s Fund.
Healing & Cultural Enrichment
The rich cultural and cosmological landscape of Peru will guide you on a journey of deep healing and transformation. Romi draws from fifteen years of healing arts, yoga, movement, and counseling training to effusively inspire people to live up to their highest potential. Her light-hearted approach encourages participants to experience joy and ease during the radical ride of self-discovery. While staying at Willka T’ika, guests are given the option to deepen their healing journey via private intuitive bodywork, or somatic therapy sessions with Romi. These sessions greatly enhance each individual’s journey. Group yoga, breath-work, meditation, and nature-awareness sessions will be facilitated daily.All Inclusive Ten day, Nine night Retreat: $3100 (excludes airfare)
About your Leader
Romi Cumes MA, MFTI, LMT, is a Psychotherapist intern, Bodyworker, Yoga Instructor, and Performance Artist with over fifteen years of experience. She assists people to embody their most authentic state of Being, so they may live in a more full and balanced way. Drawing from a background in somatic psychology, Romi integrates clinical training with intuitive capabilities to proactively work with physical/emotional distress, trauma, and psycho-spiritual blockages. Romi has been traveling to Peru for over twenty years to offer healing arts, yoga, and visit her mother Carol, the founder of Willka T’ika and the travel company Magical Journey. Romi founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2004 and is currently in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. For more info visit RomiCumes.com or like her page for updates
Facebook Page “Transformative Healing Arts”
For more information about this retreat, including detailed itinerary
please email Romi Cumes romicumes at gmail dot com
The Introduction to Yoga course at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center is offered as a three week (six classes) or one weekend course (three classes). The format creates a safe and fun space to begin your exploration of Yoga, and make Yoga a more consistent part of your life. A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga, while preparing you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes. This course is also suitable for more experienced practitioners needing to redefine their skills and improve focus.
SB Yoga Center: 32 E. Micheltorena St.Call (805) 965-6045 to Sign up. Drop ins possible, please arrive early Friday When: February 21-23 – Friday 7-9pm, Saturday/Sunday 2-4pm
Romi Cumes M.A. draws from fifteen years of yoga teaching and body therapy experience to offer you in-depth somatic education. She is also a marriage and family therapist intern and healer in private practice in Santa Barbara. For more information visit her