By shannenroberts

I am too Skinny, I am too Small

Ads promoting “being body proud” tend to feature plus-sized women.

However, many women, believe it or not, feel they are too skinny.

I am that skinny girl that so many people have looked at and said, “wow, I wish I could be as tiny as you!”
And all I’ve ever wanted was to be overall BIGGER.

1. I felt fragile being so skinny

2. I felt vulnerable, like anything and anyone could hurt me

3. Let’s talk about dance class and tights and how small thatttt made me feel.

And for all the people that says it’s easy to gain weight, for some people it’s as hard as losing weight.

Two years ago, I weighed 114. Lifting 1 pound laterally was heavy, pouring milk into my cereal was a mission, and carrying my 50 pound keyboard to shows was an impossible joke. I also ate practically nothing, and just did yoga everyday.

Today, I weight 125. I bicep curl 17.5 at the gym, squat 115 with the smyth machine, and can do 20 military pushups. I can now hold confidently hold vasistasana and feel safe that my upper-body will support me with handstand at the wall.

I am skinny, I am small, and I am body proud.

May 2014. Before I got arthritis.






Pain Management: Routine for Chronic Pain #2


Chair yoga – Variation of Half Sun Salutation with Twist

Place one leg on chair, flex foot, toes point up. Forward fold for hams, Inhale half way up, exhale forward fold.

Inhale all the way up Utthita Hasta in Tadasana (focus on lifting up out of the hips and firming the thigh back without locking the knees), exhale twist and hold.

Inhale all the way up, exhale twist to the other side and hold.

Lower leg. Repeat on other leg.

– – – -My back has been begging for some type of twist and folding over fully too many times hurts my hip flexors.


Sitting in cushioned chair

Breath of Fire (Agni) x3

– – – -I felt like I needed to get rid of a ton of energy after doing the variation of 1/2 sun salutations. So I did this breath to build up heat, and to quickly rid of my anxieties.



Stood up by wall, side twist for side of waist. Switch to other side.

Repeat x3


Lying on Back

Bridge Pose 3 times with shoulders snuggled underneath self

Held for a long period of time. (about 5-7 breaths)



Puppy Dog held for 5-7 breaths


Standing Sequence: Balance + Twist

Warrior 1, Warrior 3, bring foot to calve and twist, mountain, twist to other side.

Repeat other side.

TEACHING FOCUS: Working through discomfort and staying present

savasana, awareness to mind body connection. Notice how lowback feels (arching, pulling, nothing), how neck feels (compressed, length, easy or hard to breathe).

breath work. Inhaling and exhaling for 5, 6, and 7 counts. (Set intention. Pay attention to what your body is saying throughout practice.)

knees in chest

keep R knee hugging in, extend L out. Repeat other side.

Repeat. Pause, place R foot down. Inhale, Exhale down spine out toes. This time, bring knee in as slow as you can and focus staying completely relaxed. Focus on relaxing deep within the hip joint, the hip flexor, the hip socket. Repeat other side.

Bend knees. Move hips to R. Knees into center, lower knees to L. Easy Twist. Repeat other side

Bridge Pose x 3 held for 5-7 breaths. Either reg or hands interlaced. (Breathe into the heart, the chest.)

Hug knees into chest.

Sit up.

Inhale arms up, exhale fold over. Switch crossing of legs and repeat.

Hands and knees to plank to AMS

1/2 SSA x2

SSA x2

SSA with lunges

SSB Warrior 1

SSB Warrior 1, Warrior 3 (held, asked them to focus on a point on the floor), bring foot to calve, inhale arms up, exhale twist. Lower foot down. Fold over. Half way up, fold, vinyasa. Repeat other leg. x2

Last chair pose: hold, twist to L and hold, back to center, twist to R and hold, center, fold over. (Unless there is pain, work through the heat.)

Grab onto big toes or opposite elbows.

Halfway up, fold, vinyasa, AMS, childs pose. – remember the intention you set at the beginning of class.

Bridge Pose hold for 5 breaths.

Thread the needle, hug knees into chest, low back twist, hug knees, happy baby, savasana.


(Concept of staying present.)

With the birth of the iPhone, it’s become difficult to stay present. To focus. While I’m driving, I want to check my phone. In class and right after class, I want to check my phone. And there usually isn’t anything interesting on it when I do check it so constantly. No new texts, no missed phone calls. Nothing crazy on instagram. It’s just habit. It’s easiest to not focus, to not listen.

I didn’t show many of the poses today, and haven’t been recently, to challenge your focus. So that you have to listen to everything I’m saying, understand, and do. I also held poses that build up heat, that are confrontational, to practice focusing and working through discomfort. To practice staying present during uncomfortable situations. Lastly, we increased our breath in the beginning of class and by holding bridge pose for an extended period of time.

When you come to a yoga class, it is expected to try and focus, listen, have respect for those in the room, and be present for the whole class. It’s a lot harder in the real world. Try and be a little more present in your everyday life. Focus on the words your teachers say in class, on the road, on what your loved one is saying. As humans, we are meant to focus, listen and understand. Because if we didn’t, there would be no love.


Restorative Yoga

I took a restorative yoga class tonight with Dani Ibarra at YogaWorks Valencia.
I was pretty much ready to take a nap afterwards. It was amazing.

The whole class was at the wall and consisted of 4-5 poses with the lights dimmed, almost dark.

1st pose: Relaxation pose.

Place 1 block at the tallest level for your head.

Another block at the medium level for your ribs right above the shoulder blades.

Lie a bolster on top of these blocks.

Fold a blanket in half, and drape it over the bolster as a pillow for your head.

Fold two blankets into squares for your arms. Place the blankets to the sides of the bolster.

And roll a blanket to be placed underneath your knees.

Lie down on the bolster, extend your legs forward and place the rolled up blanket underneath your knees. Adjust the square blankets for underneath your arms. Snuggle the ends of the blanket draped on the top of the bolster around your head like a little nest.

Close your eyes. Stay for 8-10 min.

2nd pose: Spinal twist.

Move the square blankets aside (the ones your arms were laying on.)

Have the R side of your torso face the bolster, knees bent. Inhale elongate, exhale turn your torso to face the bolster and lay down for a twist. Your head can be to the right or left – looking to the left will be a greater twist, but be careful of your spine is tight or your neck is tender.

Stay for 8 min. Repeat on L side.

3rd pose: Hip opener.

Either: Sit cross legged. Place a block, bolster or block on top of a bolster in front of you. Extend your torso forward and have your forehead rest on the block or bolster.

Hold for 8 min, switch cross of legs other side.

***If your knees hurt…

Open your legs into a V-shape. Extend torso forward, rest forehead on props.

4th pose: Assisted bridge pose.

Face the wall.

Place a blanket to the extent of your mat.

Place two blocks at medium height against the wall for your feet (the blocks should be touching each other short side to short side)

Prepare a loop in a strap about the width of your hip bones for your thighs.

Fold a blanket for your head. (may or may not use)

Lie down. Bend your knees. Place the strap around your thighs.

Take bridge pose. Place the bolster underneath your tailbone. Extend your legs so your feet press into the wall and are lying on top of the blocks.

If you want, you can place the blanket underneath your head.

Stay for 8 min.

5th pose: Legs up the wall (Savasana variation)

Place a folded blanket by the wall.

Take legs up the wall, but, make sure your bum (the cheeks to be exact…) are off of the blanket.

The blanket should be placed more by the tailbone, up to the frontal ribs.

Stay for 10 min.