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Welcome all, make yourself comfortable and let us begin.

I know most of you have been working from home, slumped over a make shift desk with probably not the best chair. Your neck aches, your hamstrings are tight and everything feels a little, off. Sound about right?

Here’s a quick and simple stretch sequence to help loosen those knots and ease some of the discomfort that’s built up all day. All you need is a rolling pin or a broomstick if you don’t have the former.

The rolling pin works because you are working with your edge in the yoga pose. Your edge is that comfortable but challenging place that you come to in a yoga pose.

Let’s start sitting down, cross your legs and take the rolling pin above your head holding it at either end and keep your arms engaged and straight. Take a moment here then start to move your upper body side to side, over to the right and over to the left, waking up the sides of the body.

After you’ve done that four times on each side, sweep your arms forward and backward over your head four times. It’s important to keep your arms engaged throughout this whole exercise so every muscle is active and responding to the movement.

Now we’ve woken up the torso let’s work on that tech neck that’s been irritating you. Take your rolling pin and place it horizontally behind your neck, lift your head and take a small backbend, you can be seated or standing for this. You just want to open the chest, and neck by lifting your head up and back. Having the rolling pin in place will prevent you from collapsing your head back and create space.

Next, take your arms straight infront of you, holding the pin at either end again and slightly curve your spine like you would doing a cat, cow pose. Drop your head to your chest and keep your arms at 90 degrees. Holding the pin here really helps engage your arms and to release tension from your shoulders and neck, you’ll probably notice a slight difference from your left to right side and that awareness is key. We aren’t symmetrical beings, so having that awareness in your body will help you reach your edge while you do different poses, stretches and inversions.

Finally, if you’re not seated on the floor already, come join me.

Keep one leg straight and bend the other letting the knee fall out to the side like a seated tree pose. Hold the pin above your arms and fold over without letting your arms drop. You’ll know if you’re rounding over too much if you can see the pin. You want to keep your arms straight so you lift up and out of the spine to fold over.

Feel better? I recommend doing this 10 minute sequence every evening after work and you’ll soon start to see your posture improve and that tech neck disappear.

From growing up during the 60’s and marching on Washington D.C. with Dr. Martin Luther King, to being able to travel when travel was still uncommon and living in diverse places such as Mexico, Paris, and Israel, Diana Rilov has had a long and exciting life.

40 years ago, Diana started studying yoga. She fell in love with it immediately, and over the course of her life has managed to turn it into a career.

“Yoga has been my guiding light throughout this wonderful long life I've had and hope to have many more years of all of this.”

I recently sat down with Diana to talk about her 40-year career as a yoga instructor, the wisdom that comes with time, and how to continue feeling vital no matter your age. At 73, Diana Rilov is not slowing down.

Read the full interview here!

In this inaugural episode of Out of the Clouds, Anne is joined by longtime friend and teacher Diana Rilov. Today they will be discussing how Diana came to yoga, aging gracefully, what it means to be a ‘pirate’ and Diana’s personal philosophy about spirituality in yoga.

Anne and Diana met while Anne was living in New York after she decided to take one of Diana’s classes at Equinox. We hear how Diana first discovered yoga as a woman growing up in the 60’s after studying Art History and French, as well as working various jobs before finding her calling in yoga.

Diana tells us about her first experience of yoga and how she immediately knew it was something that she wanted to pursue. She discusses the process of certification to become a yoga teacher and how difficult it was to do so during a time when yoga as an emerging practice. We also hear about her experiences learning under Dona Holleman and her advice for creating her own path: “Be a pirate, get the gold and run.” This means that you should go to many different teachers, learn what they have to offer and take it to use as your own to inform your journey.

Anne asks Diana about her classes and teaching process. Diana talks about the workshop style of the classes that she arranges and the way her intuition guides her, especially when pairing or grouping people to work together. Anne also touches on the Bon Vivant retreats that Diana runs in Italy and how they split working and learning during the day with La Dolce Vita in the evenings to engender balance. Diana also explains her concept of the ‘Spiritual Selfie’ and how she would rather you come to your own spirituality, or not, instead of imposing it during classes.

The two then talk about how perceptions of growing older have changed over the years and Diana’s attitude to aging. They touch on their shared role-model of Ali MacGraw and how Anne first tried yoga with her tapes. Diana talks about the way you become invisible after 50 and how aging is perceived as frightening. She talks about letting her hair go white and modelling at 73 along with what she sees for her journey in the future.

Anne concludes the podcast by asking Diana three questions:

1) Who do you admire?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a Supreme Court Judge at age 87 who was the first woman to graduate from Harvard Law School.

2) What would you say to your younger self?

Trust your intuition, when you are older you will care less about what other people think and be able to become the woman you wanted to be.

3) What brings you happiness?

Today it is being safe, grounded and being able to have perspective while the world is in crisis.

Listen Here.

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