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You may have heard the word ahimsa, but weren’t quite sure what it meant. That was me. Then my yoga instructor talked about it one night before we started our class practice. Now, in the face of all the violence making the headlines and the havoc raised by folks drenched in hate, I’m trying to embrace ahimsa more than ever.
All the talk lately about mindfulness got me thinking: do I really know what this is and how to practice it? If I wondered about how to be mindful, I imagine others did, too. So, I took my questions to an expert, Cara Bradley, author, yoga and meditation teacher, and founder of Verge Yoga in Philadelphia, PA.
Besides practicing poses and breathing, yogis also need to nourish their bodies. Since there’s been so much talk lately about clean eating, I decided to talk to an expert about all that it entails. Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, the spokesperson for the California Dietetic Association, agreed to answer my questions.
What exactly is clean eating?
Signing up for a yoga retreat can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself; or, according to some online reviews, your time away might become your worst nightmare. To make sure that spending time practicing yoga in another environment is a positive experience, visit “Is a Yoga Retreat Right for You?”
Stability and steadiness in your physical body and in your life can seem elusive. There’s either too much going on or not enough. That’s where yoga comes in.
“Yoga is meant to be a full practice, one that encompasses all aspects of one’s life,” says Mark Van Buren, a yoga and meditation instructor in River Edge, New Jersey and author of Be Your Sh*tty Self: An Honest Approach to a More Peaceful Life. “We can use the fullness of our practice to live a balanced, liberated life.”
Traveling can be fun and exciting yet stressful all at the same time. You have the pleasure of seeing new destinations, seeking new adventure, or revisiting old stomping grounds. But between airport security, flying, business meetings or even family get-togethers you can often find yourself stressed out or anxious. Which means travel is not a time to abandon your yoga practice, but instead embrace it wherever and however you can.
We love our veterans and thank them for their service. Not all veterans served in a war, but those who did—whether they saw action in World War II, the Vietnam War, Iraq or Afghanistan—changed. It’s no secret that many of our military still suffer from the invisible, psychological scars of war after being deployed. Many also return home with physical challenges. All have been altered in some way. And they need help.
Although choosing the style of yoga that works best for you is important, locating an instructor you resonate with is crucial.
My first experience with yoga was through an after-work exercise program at the school district where I worked. The instructor gave initial instructions, but didn’t explain how to modify a pose if you were unable to do one in the way she described. The lady next to me mastered all the poses in their original form and between her and the teacher, I felt lost, confused and most of all, uncomfortable. That encounter caused me to stay away from any yoga class for several years.
After hearing rave reviews about a local studio and needing to alleviate my joint pain from arthritis, I tried a gentle yoga class. From the moment I walked into the studio and was greeted by Jeni, the instructor, I knew I’d found a perfect place to develop a yoga practice. Jeni exuded friendliness and warmth, she explained everything, and she had one of the most soothing voices on the planet. If you mention an ache or pain you have, she incorporates moves into the class that help alleviate it, she gives lots of individual attention and she also takes other yoga classes. I’ve taken this same gentle yoga class from Jeni, every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. now, for about seven years. And I’m never leaving.
How can you find your own version of Jeni?