Thursday, January 9, 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette

Too Faced is always one of the first companies to release their seasonal collections, we looked at the spring collection right around Christmas and I started my spring shopping with this collection.  I loved the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette from the moment that I first looked at the collection and it lead my Most Wanted list for this month.  It had been out of stock on both the Sephora and Ulta websites since it's release but it finally came back in stock and I was able to order it from Sephora earlier this week and it has finally reached my doorstep.

I liked the way that I did the reviews of the Lorac Pro Eye Shadow Palette late last month and I wanted to follow that format from now on.  Today's post will be an introduction to the palette and some initial impressions upon opening and swatching the palette, a more detailed review will be arriving in the next ten days.  We will re-look at the details of this palette and then go into my first impressions on the overall set up and a few of the shades that I have been swatching.  I have applied this to my eyes once and I have only created one eye look with it therefore I don't feel that I can provide anything more than a first impression at this time.

"A sweetly tempting array of 16 matte and shimmer shadows scented with real chocolate.  Too Faced Co-founder and Creative Director Jerrod Blandino learned of the healing properties of cocoa while getting a chocolate facial in Maui. With Chocolate Bar he created a first-of-its-kind palette that combines the healing benefits of chocolate with richly pigmented, velvety smooth shadows. Chocolate has been used for centuries for its soothing properties and to protect, condition, and heal skin that has been damaged by sun and wind. Studies have shown that the scent of cocoa powder can increase memory and brain power.", states the Sephora website.

I have included a picture of this palette that I found on Google, this photo displays the shades much nicer than the ones on the Sephora and Too Faced websites.  Chocolate Bar is definitely a neutral palette and one that has the potential to be a staple in anyone's collection.  I already feel that I will be getting good amount of use from this palette for the rest of the winter and then into the very early spring.  There is a full range of neutral hues in this palette and I do wonder how different they will all look when applied on the eyes.  

The shades included in this palette are...

Gilded Ganache - deep chocolate brown satin
- Milk Chocolate - medium brown matte
- Black Forrest Truffle - deep warm brown shimmer
- Triple Fudge - deep warm chocolate brown shimmer
- Salted Caramel - warm brown matte
- Marzipan - medium champagne shimmer
- Semi-Sweet - medium brown matte
- Strawberry Bon Bon - pale pink satin
- Candied Violet - bright violet purple satin
- Amaretto - medium warm brown shimmer
- Hazelnut - medium neutral brown shimmer
- Crème Brulee - medium warm gold shimmer
- Haute Chocolate - deep chocolate brown matte
- Cherry Cordial - deep plum satin
- White Chocolate - cool champagne matte
- Champagne Truffle - cool champagne shimmer

The first aspect of this palette that I really like is how Too Faced decided to make the two palest shades in larger pans than the others.  These are the types of shades that I tend to go through the quickest and then end up dipping into single shadows to use with the palette.  I also love that this palette smells just like milk chocolate and this palette has been pleasure to use in the morning.

I have already stated that I like the mix of the shades and finishes in this palette, I like the mix of mattes and shimmers and I will be able to use every single shade from this palette (with two potential exceptions).  There are three neutral matte hues and all of these will work well as transition shades and then any of the shimmers will work well when applied directly to the lid.  I like that there are three matte transition shades and all three have different undertones in them.  I also really like the range of brown shades, I think that this will be a palette that I can grab on a daily basis.

My only potential concern with this palette is that it contains nearly all neutral shades and I do wonder how different the eye looks will end up looking when I start pairing these shades together.  I did not have great results when I swatched Strawberry Bon Bon or Candied Violet, these are the only two non-neutral shades and I was hoping to use them to add a pop of color to a few of my neutral eye looks.  I don't know that I will be getting much use from either of these shades but I need to work further with them before I can decide how well they do or do not work.  

My first impressions of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette are quite positive but I will be reporting back in the next few days once I have used every shade in the palette and created several different eye looks with it.  This palette has the potential to be a new staple for me and I can see myself adding it to my eye makeup rotation for the next few months.

photo courtesy of Google

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Urban Decay Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation

I have been playing around with two new foundations over the past few weeks, we are looking one of them today and then I will be reviewing one later on in the month as part of the Brand of the Month series.  I typically prefer foundations from either MAC or NARS and I decided that I wanted to try formulas from brands that I love but that I have never bought foundation formulas from before.  Today we are looking at the first of the two foundations that I will be reviewing this month, the formula that is my least favorite of the two and one that I would probably not repurchase again.  I reviewed a lighter coverage and a fuller coverage foundation, today's review is of the lighter of the two formulas.

Urban Decay has been a favorite brand of mine for years and I have used their BB Cream and liked that the formula.  They introduced a new foundation formula about a year ago and it quickly became one of the best selling foundations on the Sephora website.  The Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation was sold out when I was looking for a new foundation late last summer and I had been putting my review on hold until I could finally order my correct shade and really try this one out.  I finally found my correct shade in stock while I was at Sephora buying the other formula and I just decided to buy both of them while I could find the shades that I needed in both.  

"An oil-free, lightweight liquid foundation that feels like wearing nothing at all, while leaving a demi-matte finish.  Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Liquid Makeup leaves skin looking natural, illuminated, and bright with a luminous demi-matte finish: like the beautiful skin you were born with. Light-diffusing spheres provide a visible reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blurring imperfections for beautifully perfected, ultra-definition skin that looks completely real.  It provides truly buildable coverage with a weightless feel and a luminous finish. And it’s loaded with nourishing ingredients, including: Matrixyl 3000 (a powerful anti-wrinkle peptide), protective and brightening Litchiderm™, antioxidant green tea, and sodium hyaluronate for optimal skin hydration and nutrient absorption. The sleek, hygienic pump provides more control, with less waste of product.", states the Sephora website

Sephora states that this is a "medium" coverage and can be built up as needed for fuller coverage.  I do not agree with this classification, I found this formula to be sheer coverage and then it needed to be build up to a light-medium coverage, two coats of this formula were needed to coverage any red areas of my face and I still found patches of redness to be peeking through on my cheeks throughout the day.  I tend to prefer fuller coverage foundations and I knew within a few days of wearing this formula that I was not going to be a fan of it.  One pump covers my whole face and then I use a second pump in targeted areas.  The texture of this formula is very lightweight and runny, it feels like nothing when applied and I am a fan of the lightweight feel.  This product provides a matte finish to the skin however it clung to a few of the dry patches around my nose and I always have to be very careful when I apply the product in this area.  This product just makes my dry patches look even worse and I might be putting it to the side until my skin gets less dry as the spring season approaches.  I found that it does not wear well throughout the day and clings to my dry patches even more as it wears.

I apply this product with a Beauty Blender and I have found that I needed to use it dry in order to get any coverage from this product.  The biggest downside to this method of application is that the sponge absorbed more product than it should have and I have been burning through my tube of this product.  I have not tried the product with a brush as I dislike applying most liquid formulas in this method.  

There are two aspects of this product that I really like.  The first is the bottle, I love the packaging and the pump on it.  The second aspect that I like about this product is the shade range.  There are about twenty shades of this product and the palest shade works perfectly for my winter skin, I am using Shade 0.5 right now and could probably use Shade 1.0 during the summer.  I can't find a shade match in many shade ranges and I love how nicely this shade works for my complexion.  I wish that Urban Decay had a different foundation formula in this shade range...

I know that many ladies absolutely love this foundation formula but it just isn't for me.  I would recommend this to someone with more normal to oily skin and who doesn't suffer from redness in their complexion.  This would be a good formula for someone who dislikes the "feel" of foundation on the face and tend to like a lighter coverage BB Cream.  This formula doesn't provide enough coverage for the redness in my face and doesn't work with my dry patches and therefore would be much better for someone with a different skin type than me.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brand Spotlight 2014 - Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Lip Gloss

We are looking at the first product that I will be featuring in my Brand Spotlight 2014, it only makes sense that I would start with a lip gloss as I am always looking to add more lip products to my collection.  I thought that I should start with the Bobbi Brown Lip Glosses as I first got the idea for spotlighting new brands when I received a Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss sample from Sephora.  I still have not yet tried that product enough to review for my blog and I will be putting that product review on the back burner until I can order a few more shades of this product.  I contemplated ordering more of the shimmer formula first but I decided that I needed to add more lip glosses to my collection that I could wear in a more professional environment.  Bobbi Brown has been known for her nude lipstick shades and she has a great lip gloss formula with all kinds of wearable shades.

"This high-shine formula gives lips a sultry sheen for a fuller look.  Formulated with jojoba and avocado oils for immediate hydration, plus Vitamins C and E.  Aloe extract soothes lips and helps keep them feeling comfortable.", states the Bobbi Brown website.  I ordered my shades off the Sephora website but I see a few more shades available on company's website and now I will be needing to head over to counter to add even more shades of this gloss to my collection.

The Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss shades...

- Buff - beige pink
- Nougat - light beige
- Nude - medium pink brown
- Pink Beige - light pink beige
- Petal - soft pink
- Hot Pink - strawberry pink
- Bright Pink - watermelon pink
- Rosy - sheer bright rose
- Tangerine - sheer bright coral
- Hollywood Red - bright candy red
- Aubergine - deep grapey plum
- Pink Lily - bubblegum pink
- Scarlet - deep red

This formula is one of the best lip glosses that I have ever used, if not the absolute best formula.  The applicator is a traditional doe-foot, I think that the applicator is slightly smaller than that of the MAC Lipglass and this allows a more precise application.  The formula is hydrating without being sticky, it feels smooth and soft upon application and does not become sticky throughout the day.  I have had some issues with other lip gloss formulas that start off smoothly but become patchy and sticky with wear.  I have had absolutely no issues with any of the shades that I have bought and I doubt that I will have issues with any others that I will be buying.  The wear time is similar to that of any other lip gloss and it will needed to be reapplied after eating or drinking.

I bought the following shades; Buff, Petal, and Rosy.  Buff and Petal are my two favorite shades, these neutrals can be worn with any makeup look and in any environment.  Rosy is a brighter pink shade and I will be saving this shade for next spring/summer.  I really want the Nude shade now, as it will work just like the other nudes that I have already bought.  I thought that several of the pink shades looked very similar when I swatched them on my hand so I only bought one pink shade but now I want more of them since I love this formula so much.  Pink Beige, Hot Pink, and Bright Pink are on my shopping list for pink glosses for the upcoming spring season.  I think that I want to pick up Scarlet and Hollywood Red for next fall and I am tempted by Aubergine too.

Bobbi Brown has always been known for her lip products and she started her whole brand with ten nude lipstick shades.  I have started my love of Bobbi Brown lip products already and I would love to feature four more lip formulas this month but I will hold back on the temptation to scoop up the whole lip area of the Bobbi Brown counter.  I am not sure which lip formula from this company that I will try next to review but I know that I will be trying more lipsticks and glosses from this brand!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chanel Spring 2014 Collection - Notes de Printemps

We are returning to my coverage of the spring 2014 collections today and I am very excited to get back to looking at more products that I will want to be ordering in the coming weeks.  We started the spring collection coverage right before Christmas with the newest collection from Too Faced and we are now picking back up with a brand that has often created some of the best collections for nearly every spring season.  Chanel is one of my favorite brands and their spring collections often set the tone and trends for the whole season, I look forward to picking up some items in the Notes de Printemps collection and then seeing what other companies release similar products and shades.

The Chanel website provides the following description of the collection, "Spring makeup strikes a colourful chord with light, joyful notes. At the heart of the collection, a chorus of fresh, luminous reds sets the season’s tone for cheeks, lips and fingertips."  I love that this collection focuses a look around red lips and nails, I love red lipsticks but tend to buy and wear them mostly in the fall and winter.  I would like to purchase a few "spring" reds this season and I want to see how they shades that Chanel has chosen compare to what red shades are already in my collection.  I have a good-sized collection of red lipsticks and feel like I own nearly every finish and hue of red, I will buy any shade of red introduced in this collection that I do not already own and I will be visiting the counter quite soon.

The Notes de Printemps collection for spring...

Lumieres Facettes Eye Shadow Quad - Eyeshadow redefined. The Lumieres Facettes Eye Shadow compact features a vibrant, pigment-rich formula in eyeshadow palettes inspired by threads of Chanel tweed. With a spectrum of shade combinations and finishes that range from matte to satin to shimmer.  Each easy-to-wear compact offers endless possibilities, with two medium tones to colour and contour, a deep shadow to intensify and a light shade to highlight. Pure, long-lasting pigments ensure an intense colour effect while the soft, smooth texture allows for effortless application.
- Quadrille (537) - lavender gray/golden ivory/rosy apricot/intense brown

Illusion d'Ombre - With an innovative texture that’s both soft and cushiony, this intensely shimmering, long-wear cream eyeshadow can be worn as eyeshadow or eyeliner.  A combination of pure pigments of different colours and sizes: small pigments provide coverage and colour intensity; large pigments make the shades shimmer. Includes a specially designed shadow/liner brush, developed specifically for this unique formula.
- Diapason (92) - luminous deep purple
- Impulsion (93) - luminous pastel pink

Le Blush Crème de Chanel - Enhance, brighten and contour the face with this versatile cream blush that blends onto skin seamlessly. Healthy-glow shades sculpt cheekbones and refresh the complexion with a vibrant, velvet finish.
- Intonation (69) - warm rose
- Chamade (67) - deep pink

Poudre Universalle Compact - An ultra-soft, pressed powder that provides sheer, lightweight coverage, Poudre Universalle helps to even skin tone, and set and perfect makeup for a natural, matte finish.  Photo-reflective pigments illuminate the complexion and disguise imperfections without emphasizing lines.
- Preface (160) - light peach

Rouge Allure - An intense, long-wearing lip colour with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort.  In a new formula, Rouge Allure features concentrated, ultra-thin pigments that deliver full coverage and magnify shade intensity. Sweet Almond Oil, Green Tea and Sappan Wood helps smooth, moisturize and protect lips.
- Melodieuse (136) - bright coral red cream
- Fouguese (138) - bright pink cream

Rouge Coco - Rouge Coco lip colour is more expressive than ever in a hydrating, next-generation formula that provides full coverage with a creamy yet lightweight finish.  An exclusive complex of Jojoba and Mimosa Butters, Sunflower Wax and Silicone provides lasting hydration and luminous shine. With a vibrant colour spectrum, featuring shade names inspired by Coco Chanel and the friends, artists and lovers who inspired her.
- Dedicace - pink with blue undertones
- Triomphe - pink with peach undertones

Rouge Allure Velvet - This non-drying matte lipstick glides on lips with intensely rich, long-wearing colour and a sumptuously soft, velvet matte finish.  Mother-of-pearl pigments deliver rich colour and a soft finish. Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter comfort and moisturize.
- La Diva (44) - electric pink
- L'Adoree (45) - mauve

Rouge Double Intensite - Glorious long-lasting colour pairs with high-shine gloss to deliver full-coverage lip colour that lasts all day.  Without transferring or feathering, the fluid formula of the base colour goes on smoothly and dries quickly; the glossy top coat imparts non-sticky, brilliant shine and superb hydration.
- Pink Twist - rosewood

Le Crayon Levres - Enhance the shape of your lips and give them perfect definition with this creamy-textured lip pencil. Long-lasting, full-coverage colour with a semi-matte finish glides on to soften and soothe lips, and ensures lipstick stays in place while extending its wear.  A comforting formula softens and soothes lips, while a sharpener and built-in blending brush offer makeup-artistry touches for the most professional-looking result.
- Sonic Pink (70) - shocking pink

Le Vernis - The iconic nail polish is reformulated for longer-lasting, high-shine colour that cares.
- Charivari (603) - soft purple/mauve
- Tapage (605) - bright pink

I like many shades in this collection but I don't feel that it is one of the strongest spring collections.  The shades are very wearable and can be easily worked into all kinds of makeup looks but I feel like I already own many of these shades in my collection.  I will be checking out most of the lipsticks but I don't know that anything else has really jumped out at me.  I would like both shades of the Rouge Allure, these bright hues will be very pretty paired with black eyeliner and bronzer throughout the summer.  I would like the mauve shade in the Rouge Allure Velvet formula, I can start wearing this neutral mauve hue right now and then all the way through the spring months.

I would like the eye shadow palette in the collection and I would also like the pale pink shade in the Illusion d'Ombre formula.  I have been loving those cream shadows and am always on the lookout to add more to my collection.  To finish out my shopping of the collection, I would like the deep pink cream blush.  I have a hard time finish cream blushes and I would love to try this formula.

This is a very nice collection and I am sure that it will sell out very quickly.  I don't find any of these shades very unique but I know that I would use and love everything that I order from this collection.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Sunday, January 5, 2014

MAC Feminine Face

Earlier today we looked at a new eye makeup collection from MAC and now we are moving onto a to full color collection to start out the New Year.  I am not quite sure if this is a whole new collection or just a new look created with current MAC products and shades, I guess I will find out when I check this collection out in detail.  Whatever the case may be...this is a very pretty collection of shades and the model has a skin tone identical to mine so I know that I will find several shades to try in it.  The model has very cool toned pale skin and is wearing a variety of pink hues and this overall look would be very pretty for Valentine's Day!

"For a modern, Feminine Face, simply follow the step-by-step instructions for an easy look with a flawless finish. Prep + Prime Natural Radiance hydrates and primes to improve makeup application, Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation provides luminous perfection with a natural-satin finish, and Mineralize Skinfinish finishes for a glow that's subtle, yet radiant. For professional results, apply with the new 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush."

I see that this is not a full color collection and that makes me very unhappy, I love the look that the model has on and I was looking forward to finding new shades for a pale pink eye and lip look.  This is one of my favorite looks to wear at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, I am hoping that that I like the palette in the Mineralize Eye Shadow x 4 collection so that I have another one to add to my collection.  Especially since I won't be finding one in this collection...

Feminine Face is all about face makeup; it presents a series of foundations and primers that will create the perfect base for all the pretty new makeup that I will be buying this spring.  I have been looking at foundation formulas for the past few days and perhaps I will find one in this collection that I will want to try.  My Holy Grail NARS formula is beginning to get low so it is time for me to decide if I want to try another formula or if I simply want to repurchase a bottle of this product.  I have used and loved MAC foundations in the past and I would be very happy to try another formula from this company.

Here is the Feminine Face collection...

Prep + Prime Natural Radiance - A silky gel emulsion, rich in natural ingredients, that hydrates and primes to improve foundation or powder application, control oil and promote smooth texture. Vitamins E and C protect with antioxidants, while caffeine calms skin. Illuminating pearl powders reflect optic brightening. Well-suited for all skins but especially effective on deeper skin tones, the formula disappears upon application, resulting in a beautiful glow.

Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation - A combination of powders creates an optical blurring effect that virtually diminishes imperfections and fine lines, for a more even tone. The light-reflecting, natural satin finish makes skin appear refined, revitalized and refreshed with a new purity, softly lit from within. SPF 15 adds the perfect finishing touch of sun protection. Features our 77-Mineral Complex, Shea Butter and Vitamin E.  Available in a full range of shades to suit every skin tone.

Mineralize Skinfinish - A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.
- Gold Deposit - soft reflective golden bronze
- Lightscapade - soft candlelit beige with multidimensional shimmer
- Soft and Gentle - gilded peach bronze

188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush - A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.

I want to try this foundation formula from MAC, I have used one of their Mineralize liquid foundations before and I really liked how it performed and how nice it made my skin look.  I think that I will need to try a bit of this on my hand while I shop at the counter this weekend and decide how much I like it.  I love the range of MAC foundation shades, this is one of the only companies that I never worry about not finding a match to my skin tone when shopping at the counter.  The Prep + Prime formula is not one that I have tried yet and one that I would like to purchase when I need a new primer formula.

This isn't quite what I expected to get from this collection but now I am excited to shop for primers and foundations to finish out the winter and head into the spring months!

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, January 4, 2014

MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow x 4

We have just entered 2014 and MAC is celebrating it with two new small collections that will start the year off on the right foot!  They are both small so we will look at both of them this weekend so that I can begin getting ready to go shopping at the counter next week, the holidays are really over now so I can safely enter a mall again and enjoy a nice afternoon of shopping.  My first stop will be Sephora to see what the status on new products are and then my next stop will be the MAC counter to grab some items from Magnetic Nude and to see what else is new since my last visit.  Then I will stop at Limited and Express to see if they have any nice sweaters left and Barnes and Noble for more Agatha Christie books.  I hope the snow stays away next Saturday afternoon!

MAC has capitalized on the fame of their Mineralize Eye Shadow formula and made a small collection based on palettes comprised on these shades.  I have never tried this formula before and I have heard very mixed reviews on this formula, people either love or hate the Mineralize products and I have never been huge fan of mineral products to start with so this will be hit or miss for me.

I only saw this collection on the MAC website so I will be pulling all my information from the company's website.  "The rich pigments of Mineralize Eye Shadow are a cult favourite of M•A•C lovers everywhere, because of their bold, blendable shades and gorgeous shimmer. Now you can create an array of looks for day and evening with Mineralize Eye Shadow x 4, six new compacts in complementing colour waves. Suitable for all skin tones, the pre-filled palettes come with four shades each. For optimal results, apply and blend with the 286 Duo Fibre Tapered Blending and 287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brushes."

Mineralize Eye Shadow x 4 - Six pre-filled palettes with four coordinated colours. Featuring our unique Mineral-Rich Yeast Extract, a blend of 77 minerals that nourishes while providing silky smooth coverage. Its sheer, lightweight application allows each shade to build lightly, layer after layer, for dramatic colour with a lustrous glow.
- A Party of Pastels - four coordinated colours, from pastel pink to soft violet
- A Medley of Mauves - four coordinated colours, from deep eggplant to icy pearl pink
- A Glimmer of Gold - four coordinated colours, from soft gold to copper bronze
- A Harvest of Greens - four coordinated colours, from green olive to blackened burgundy
- A Sprinkle of Blues - four coordinated colours, from intense navy to deep blue
- A Waft of Gray - four coordinated colours, from dark charcoal to white frost

287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush - A rounded, medium sized, double-chiseled, paddle-shaped brush. Perfect for applying and blending Eye Shadow. Made from a blend of soft, natural bristles and synthetic fibres, allowing for a light wash of colour.

286 Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush - With its soft dome shape, this two-toned, duo-fibre brush of goat and synthetic fibres provides a sheer, more controlled application of M·A·C Mineralize Eye Shadow.

I originally thought that the quad of neutrals would be my favorite of the palettes but a different one caught my eye from this line.  I really like the A Waft of Gray, this combination of grays and whites would make a lovely smoky eye and I would also trying mixing a pale lavender hue in with these shades too.  I will be trying this palette out when I visit the counter and I will see how the formulation and pigmentation are.  If I like this formula than I will purchase the neutral palette (A Glimmer of Gold) and then the pale pink palette (A Party of Pastels) and I will have another eye shadow formula from MAC to obsess over!

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fitness Friday - Seated Twist Yoga Pose

I am starting off these year's coverage of Fitness Friday with another new yoga pose, yoga has become a huge part of my life ever since I first started practicing it and I fully anticipate that I will keep improving and growing in my practice this year.  I make no secret of the fact that my favorite poses are nearly all standing poses and I feel that I have the most area of growth in my practice with any poses other than these.  I have often tended to feel that seated poses were more of a "cool down" and practiced them after standing poses however I took a class the other week that consists of all seated poses and I struggled more than I thought possible.  I decided that I needed to grow my practice in this area in order to really grow in my overall yoga practice.

Today we are looking at Seated Twist pose (also know as Half Lord of the Fishes pose), a pose that literally twists the spine.  Yoga Journal states that this pose is designed to "energize the spine and stimulate the digestive fire", I have never tried this pose after eating a meal and I don't think that I ever plan too...

The Yoga Journal website provides the following step by step instructions on how to achieve this pose.  This is one pose that few teachers expect students to be able to get into on their first try and it will need to be practiced before the spine is capable of the full twist.

- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, buttocks supported on a folded blanket.  Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip.  Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor.  Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip.  The right knee will point directly up at the ceiling.

- Exhale and twist toward the inside of your right thigh.  Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right hip near your knee.  Pull your front torso and inner right thigh snugly together.

- Press the inner right foot very actively on the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen the front torso.  Lean the upper torso back slightly, against the shoulder blades, and continue to lengthen the tailbone into the floor.

- You can turn your head in one of two directions: Continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at the right foot.

- With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help.  Twist a little more with every exhalation.  Be sure to distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire length of the spine, don't concentrate it in the lower back.  Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.

I can hold this position well on my right side but I still have more work to do on my left side.  This deep twist really works the muscles in my back and has become my new favorite seated yoga pose.  I will keep growing my practice with seated poses and will write up a few more in my upcoming Fitness Fridays!

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal