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What’s Up with Down Dog? June Yoga News

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | June 9th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Gaiam June Yoga News

With more than 20 million yoga practitioners in the United States alone, yoga is becoming part of mainstream culture — and making its own news headlines! Here’s what you should know this June when you hit the mat:

Good Yoga vs. Bad Yoga

Wanderlust by Wanderlust | May 21st, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

If all yoga studios and practices were the same, how boring would that be?

There’s this talk of what “is” and “isn’t” yoga and where you should and shouldn’t go. If you ask me, that kind of talk is pointless and irrelevant.

5-Minute-a-Day Yoga Routine for Kids

Teresa Anne Power by Teresa Anne Power | May 13th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga

Candle PoseAlthough people realize the numerous health benefits of yoga for adults, they may not realize that kids can reap the same benefits from practicing yoga. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Yoga can be a gentle method for your child to get more physical activity and enhance his or her well-being.”

Yoga can allow kids to learn discipline, enhance athletic performance, heighten body awareness and self-control, build both strength and flexibility, and increase concentration and focus. It can also help kids feel empowered, and helps them stay calm (even kids with ADD or ADHD). This translates into healthier minds and bodies, not to mention better performance at school.

Teaching children about the merits and health benefits of exercising can be challenging for any parent. While some kids are entirely receptive to different exercises that you might present, others may be resistant. The good news is that the following this 5-minute-a-day yoga routine for kids is not only fun, but can also enthrall your child and instill effective health benefits at the same time.

Hold Your Head High: Help for Neck Pain

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 12th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Jill Miller and familyPlease forgive my lapse in blogging for the past few months, I was busy giving birth. Twice. First, I had a beautiful daughter named Lilah, who is now 2 months old. And secondly to my first book, The Roll Model, which will be published in September.

These “projects” have been filling my head and heart simultaneously for the past year, but I am happy to say, I can now share some of my newer ideas again!

The first idea hit me hard on the head (relatively speaking) yesterday. I picked up a 15-pound bag of dog food for my puppy (oh yes, I also “birthed” a puppy recently too!) while out running errands on foot. I was carrying Lilah in her carrier, and had very few options in terms of how to walk the quarter mile back home carrying the sack of food without squashing Lilah. So I hoisted the bag of food on top of my head and voila!

What’s Up With Down Dog? May Yoga News

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | May 9th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Michael Franti Yoga

With more than 20 million yoga practitioners in the United States alone, yoga is becoming part of mainstream culture — and making its own news headlines! Here’s what you should know when you hit the mat:

Yoga Research: Five Proven Facts that Make Yoga Awesome

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | May 8th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga

How many times have you tried to tell your friends about the energy body but you just can’t seem to convince it’s real?

How many times have said friends stopped talking to you altogether, or at the very least mentally categorized you as the cuckoo?

Yoga teachers are famous for saying funny things that don’t make sense to non-practitioners. It’s hard to put into words the things we feel sometimes, especially words that everyone can understand.

But those days might soon come to pass. Stephanie Shorter, PhD, presented a lecture at the Dallas Yoga Conference on yoga research, summarizing past and current scientific research in words that yoga teachers and students can understand and most importantly, connecting all our crazy new age rhetoric into hard science.

Here are five enlightening facts to help you understand what is happening in the body on a physiological level, plus practical applications to integrate into your daily practice (good news: you probably do these things already!)

Finding the Right Yoga Teacher

Heather Larson by Heather Larson | May 5th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

yoga teacher

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?

Shine On With Yoga

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | April 21st, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga

The other night, as I was driving home from teaching one of my weekly yoga classes, “Instant Karma” by the Beatles started to play on the radio. I’ve never really paid attention to the lyrics, as I’ve always enjoyed listening to the melody, but that night I was drawn to the chorus.

“Well, we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun, Yeah, we all shine on…
On and on and on, on and on…”

It got me thinking that we all need to shine. We all have unique traits and talents that set us apart from the rest of the world, yet most of us are too afraid to embrace these qualities because we are unaware of our own brilliance.

Yoga for Depression: 3 Poses to Help You Combat the Blues

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | April 8th, 2014 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 7.11.42 PM

I recently attended a Health event as the magazine launched its new mantra, Happy begins here.”

I love that saying.

I have been trying to remind myself daily that happiness comes from within me. All I have to do is see my little guy’s smile to be really happy; but there are some days I can still feel blue.

I am admitting this because I want everyone to know that we are all human and we all have emotions. Depression is a real thing and it’s difficult to be in the depth of it and feel somewhat helpless.

Anxiety usually stems from worrying too much about the future and your “to do” list. Here are some yoga poses you can do to combat anxiety. Depression, on the other hand is when we get stuck in the past. Practicing yoga helps ground us in the present moment so we can feel truly happy.

Try rocking forward to the front of your feet or sit bones (if you’re seated) and notice how it produces anxiety, moving into the future too fast. Now, lean back in your seat or to the heels of your feet; notice how you slump your shoulders forward and feel a little down. Finally, feel yourself anchored right in the middle of your seat or your feet and feel grounded and present. Try this exercise whenever you feel anxious or a bit depressed.

After I shared this information in my newsletter, I heard from some friends and students that they too suffer from both anxiety and depression. Clearly, lots of people deal with depression. Yes, even us “enlightened” yogis.

New Yoga Mat? Eliminate the Smell

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | April 7th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Yoga Mat Smell

A new yoga mat is full of promise and excitement to revitalize your practice. But along with promise, a new mat offers up something less appealing: new-mat smell.

Whether your mat is made of rubber, jute, bamboo or the more common and affordable PVC, it will release an odor that alerts all around you to its newness.

What’s a concerned yogi — one who doesn’t want to subject herself or her fellow downward doggers to headache-inducing off-gassing — to do?

Well, while you likely won’t eliminate the smell completely (only time can do that!), you can certainly reduce its assault on your nose. Here’s how: