Insomnia can deprive us of the joy of the day by creating anything from a fuzzy brain, to an agitated nervous system, to lousy digestion, to a compromised immune system. How do we get a good night’s sleep when our minds are on overdrive, and our muscles are bound up? One reason for insomnia can be that we haven’t used our legs enough during the day; when your legs are restless, it is difficult for your body to relax. If you can’t get off the “go” mode, sleep may be illusive—after all, for incessant worriers, what better time to worry than when you should be sleeping?
Yoga is truly for everybody with many styles available to meet your physical, mental, and spiritual goals. The difference between yoga and other fitness practices is that yoga is meant to help you heal. This healing process happens as you develop a deeper connection to your body and awareness of the signals it is giving you in order to prevent injuries.
Music stimulates the brain. That’s why people spend so much money on concert tickets and sites like iTunes. Most of the time, a stimulated brain is a good thing. But in yoga, isn’t the opposite true? Aren’t we supposed to dwell in a meditative state during our practice?
“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life, but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” - Donna Farhi
A guest post from Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemingo of The Travel Yogi.
Oh sweet bikini, I love you so much. You are now faded and sand-worn and it’s time to retire you. I don’t want to let you go because you hold so many memories; memories of great beaches, experiences, and even crazy close-up animal encounters. I have grown and changed while wearing you. I have laughed and cried while wearing you. These experiences reside in my heart, but I still associate them with you.
Has the passion for your yoga practice faded? Is your motivation to hit the mat at an all-time low? Can’t seem to make it to your regular classes anymore, and your home practice has lost its luster?
This happens to every yoga practitioner at some point. Though a regular yoga routine is comforting and familiar, if you don’t change things up from time to time, eventually that routine will turn into a rut.
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.”
Invigorate Your Senses
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool that can calm or energize your senses. There are so many ways you can incorporate the benefits of aromatherapy into your home: candles, essential oils in a bath or shower, flowers and fresh fruit, and even the aromas wafting from your kitchen. One of my favorite ways to fill my home with warmth and energy is to simmer a pot of water on my stove and fill it with orange peel and cinnamon sticks. The orange peel energizes while the cinnamon warms and soothes. Try this at home and watch your mood shift!
Winter has a way of gently reminding, and sometimes demanding, a different pace through life. Slow, all things slow. Which is counterintuitive for most in this fast-paced culture where more is better, and faster, and is far superior.
Giving Back the Gift of Yoga
The idea of giving back may have a different expression for each person, but the benefits are felt by all those involved in any act of giving. The Give Back Yoga Foundation believes in the power of giving back and in the transformational benefits of yoga and mindfulness — which is why the Boulder based national non-profit is leading the way in yoga service programs, trainings and resources to awaken, transform and give back. One of the underserved populations Give Back Yoga supports is veterans.