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:

Don’t Let the Scorching Sun Cook Your Attitude This Summer

Jessica Mehring by Jessica Mehring | May 29th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness

This month in the northern hemisphere we celebrate the summer solstice, aka the first day of summer.

For many people, this is their favorite time of year. The weather is lovely; you can get outside for walks in the sunshine and sit out on your patio with a good book in the cool evening. No shoveling snow, no traipsing through puddles in your galoshes.

But for some people, summer keeps them cooped up in the house just as much a winter does. When the heat sets in and you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, or the humidity is so high it feels like you walked into a sauna when you walk out the door of your house, you feel more like staying inside with the air conditioner blasting than getting a dose of sunshine.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues, is talked about a lot. SAD affects more than 10 million Americans. But there isn’t a lot of conversation about what high heat does to our attitudes.

Even here in Colorado, Gaiam’s home state, the heat can get unbearable in the summer. So I rely on these three things to keep myself feeling good when the sun is baking the world outside my window.

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.

WATCH: Paralyzed Into Motion: Yoga Saves Pro Football Player Keith Mitchell

Wanderlust by Wanderlust | May 21st, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Green Living

After a routine tackle during his last season playing football in Jacksonville, Keith Mitchell was left paralyzed for six months. In this video, filmed at Wanderlust O’ahu 2014, Mitchell explains how yoga helped him reinvent himself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Recipe: Quinoa Coconut Cereal + The Power of WAMP!

Pooja Mottl by Pooja Mottl | May 20th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

quinoa coconut cereal recipe

Healthy eating begins with two simple principles:

Processed Foods = Bad

Whole and Minimally Processed (WAMP) Foods = Good

The idea that eating whole foods is good and processed foods is bad may seem self-evident, but it’s not as obvious as you might think. In fact, pinpointing WAMP foods isn’t simple. Processed foods can be sneaky and disguise themselves as healthy foods without our noticing.

For example, we all know that chips, fries, and doughnuts are processed junk-type foods — that’s obvious. But what about bagels, cereal, and yogurt? Maybe not—it all depends on the ingredients that make them what they are. Most bagels are full of refined, processed wheat, and mainstream cereals are stuffed with processed sugar — they’re certainly not WAMP foods. The fact is there isn’t a standard, regulated definition of the words “whole” or “minimally processed.” You’ll need to learn what makes a food WAMP and what doesn’t because labels on packages won’t tell you.

Luckily, there are a few key attributes that flag a food as WAMP.

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.

Should We Intervene to Save Isle Royale National Park Wolves?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | May 12th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living

Wolf in Yellowstone National Park

On a wild, remote island in Lake Superior called Isle Royale, gray wolves have lived and thrived for more than 60 years. In the forests on this island — which encompasses the majority of Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park — a wolf population that grew to almost 50 individuals once contributed to a biodiverse, healthy ecosystem.

In recent years, however, the number of wolves on Isle Royale has plummeted. In 2009, scientists from the Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale project — begun in 1958 and now the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world — documented only 24 wolves living on the island. As of February 2014, that number had dwindled to nine — the second lowest total for the island ever recorded.

Some blame climate change for the decrease. Others say it is just the natural order of things for species to come and go in a particular area. But whatever the cause, the question for the future health of the island and the park is: should we intervene to save Isle Royale’s wolves?

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!)