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!)

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.

Into the Wild: Take Your Yoga Practice Outside

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | April 20th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living

outside yoga

Winter is an interesting time for me — well, more specifically, an interesting time for my feet. I love summer because of the ease of slipping my toes into a pair of flip-flops and floppin’ around unencumbered by shoes. In fact, during cold months I wear winter’s flip-flop equivalent, moccasins; a shoe that is as close to a non-shoe as it gets.

In fact, one of the main reasons that I love teaching yoga as a profession is because I get to be barefoot for a living! There is something so freeing when my toes are unbound from the claustrophobic nature of high heels, tennis shoes, boots, mary janes … you name it! When my toes feel the freedom to roam, I find that my spirit has that same permission.  The sense of adventure that I feel when I am liberated from the shackles of my shoes is only matched by the abundant bliss that I feel when I am out in nature, spontaneously and effortlessly awakened by the wild untamed natural world.

There is one exception to this no-shoe strategy I tend to live by: my hiking boots.  When my feet inhabit these shoes, my sprit soars straight to its inherent wildness. Of course, it isn’t the shoes, per se, that illicit this magnificent response, it is what the shoes represent: trees, trails, birds, bees, sunrises, sunsets, mountains, moose, rivers, rocks … you get the idea. This wildness is as much as state of being as it is a location, in the wild, animate world. When I’m not on my yoga mat, this is certainly where you will find me — winding my way through the wide-open woods.