asana

Is Modern Yoga …Yoga?

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | January 10th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: 8 limbs of yoga, american veda, asana, celina belizan, female body, Jivamukti, modern yoga, practice, rodney yee, union, Virayoga, Yoga, yoga in america, Yoga Journal, Yoganonamous

As any trend, person, ideology, etc. mounts in popularity, it can easily diverge from its original state.

Perhaps this is simply a flexibility that allows for such expansion and appeal to a broader audience. Perhaps it is an imminent fall from grace that occurs once the subject is spread too thin. Yoga today is a $27 billion dollar industry. This is big business and a number that reflects its quick rise in popularity.

How to Quiet Your Mind in Savasana

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | September 18th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: asana, awareness, blissful nothingness, breath, breathing, concentration, corpse pose, How to Quiet Your Mind in Savasana, mantra, meditation, mind, peace, perfection, prana, pranayama, Samadhi, silence, universal consciousness, yoga-practice

Savasana Corpse Pose Yoga

One of the main goals of a regular yoga practice is to be able to reach Samadhi, a state of deep concentration and meditation resulting in union with a greater reality … a greater universal consciousness. When we are in Savasana, we are working toward this state, feeling the benefits of our asana practice, resting our bodies in order to open up to our breath and release all of the tension and thoughts running through our minds — coming to a place of blissful nothingness.

10 Benefits of Yoga Inversions

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | April 8th, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: arms, asana, balane, blood flow, brain, circulation, confidence, core strength, detox, detoxify, downward dog, energy, fear, Forearm Stand, fun, gravity, handstand, Happy Baby, headstand, heart, humble, immune system, inversions, invert, legs, Legs up the wall, lymph nodes, oxygen, perspective, relax, relaxation, shoulder stand, Standing Forward Folds, toxins, upside-down, Yoga

yoga inversion

A yoga teacher’s suggestion to invert has the power to illicit a range of emotions from students: bewilderment, fear, anxiety, aversion, rejection, excitement, butterflies — you fill in the blank.

Purposely turning ourselves upside-down is contrary to our physical nature, and yet the benefits of upending ourselves are many. Just as yoga gently encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, the invitation to invert is simply another way to shake things up, step out of a rut.

Muses and Meaning: An Interview with Yogi Elena Brower (Part One)

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | November 30th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: Art of Attention, asana, author, book, burning man, celebrities, Central Park, Christy Turlington, donna karan, Eiffel Tower, Elena Brower, Erica Jago, extroverts, Gwyneth Paltrow, interview, introverts, Jill Miller, MC Yogi, meaning, Michael Chichi, Muse, Ojai Yoga Crib, problems, somatic imagination, vision board, wanderlust, Xanadu, yoga instructor, yoga teacher, yoga workbook, yoga-practice

Elena Brower at Burning Man

I first met Elena Brower this October when we both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, although we’d been acquainted through email for about a year prior. Elena walked into the faculty dinner and seemed to carry a piece of the sun in her essence.

Now I know that might sound a bit “woo-woo,” and if you’ve been reading my blog for the past five years, you know that I am a straight shooter and tend to refrain from sharing heavy doses of mystical or esoteric phenomenon with my readers. But I tell you, I can also recognize a galvanizer when I see one, and I was immediately drawn to Elena’s intense stare, clarity of tone and poetic spirit. She’s awesome! And I am happy to now call her my friend.

So when I found out she was about to publish her very first book Art of Attention, a yoga workbook designed to inspire your yoga practice, contemplation and creativity, which she wrote with co-author Erica Jago, I wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is the result of that conversation:

Activate Your Hope Chakra

Chrissy Carter by Chrissy Carter | April 18th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: Anahata chakra, asana, bija mantra, breath, breathe, breathing technique, Chair Pose, corpse pose, darkness, depression, Fierce Pose, fourth chakra, heart chakra, HOPE, hopelessness, light, lotus pose, meditation, mountain-pose, Padmasana, pranayama, Rabindranath Tagore, savasana, Standing Forward Bend, Sun Salutation, Surya Namaskara, Tadasana, Utkatasana, Uttanasana, vinyasa, YAM, yoga poses

Chrissy Carter

Practice yoga with Chrissy Carter’s Chaturanga Vinyasa Flow video on GaiamTV.com.

It is impossible to know hope until one has experienced hopelessness — that feeling of suffocating permanence, as if you will be forever trapped in your present situation. In a place of hopelessness, all feels irrevocably lost. We harden and brace ourselves for permanent pain in the same way that we gather and store reserves in preparation for a long, hard winter. It’s as if the shutters have been closed and all the lights turned off. Lost in the darkness, we succumb to avidya (ignorance), the belief that our finite experience is all-pervasive and interminable. Helpless, hapless and hopeless, it is impossible to imagine a light at the end of the tunnel, and we start to lose sight of the big picture.

But in these times, hope can be a light in the darkness, filtering through the slats in the shutters, shifting the shadows in our dark room from ominous to promising. Suddenly and against all odds, we can find compassion for ourselves in the face of suffering.

Making Time For Yoga

Rodney Yee by Rodney Yee | April 5th, 2012 | 7 Comments
topic: Yoga | tags: asana, breathing techniques, busy, daily yoga practice, exercise, Fitness, joy, mediataion, morning, pranayama, relaxation, rodney yee, schedule, stress, Yoga

Woman in yoga wheel pose with laptop.

Are you crazy busy? Is there hardly a moment to catch a breath? Is your significance tied to how much you work and how much you accomplish?

We must retrain ourselves to be, not just to do; to live, not just work. It can take time and awareness to rewire yourself, but it’s not an impossible task — and you can make a significant headway with 15-30 minutes of daily yoga practice.

Yoga and Trauma: Letting the Light Shine In

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | March 30th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: 9/11, anxiety, asana, depression, faith, fear, HOPE, inner peace, Jennifer Fugo, life, light, love, post-traumatic stress, PTSD, September 11th, trauma, traumatic experience, Yoga, yoganonymous

Yoga and Traumaby Jennifer Fugo

At the ripe ol’ age of 20, I wandered into my first yoga class at the Equinox gym on 19th and Broadway in New York City.

I was attending college nearby and two roommates convinced me to go with them. Although I can barely recall the teacher and the actual class, I do remember how my body felt the next day. I had sore muscles in places that I’d didn’t even know I had muscles! Aside from a more peaceful sense of being, I loved that I could finally connect with my physical body in a way I’d not known since being an avid swimmer in grade school.

Although some people may measure the ‘greatness’ of a yoga class by the amount of sweat pouring from their body or the number of times they can leap into a handstand, I have found the value of a class far exceeds these physical feats. The deeper ‘pearls’ of wisdom to be gained from yoga are available to all practitioners  — not just the superhuman ones!

Where the Sky Is Blue, Ojai!

Elena Brower by Elena Brower | November 29th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Relationships, Yoga | tags: asana, Bhakti, California, Courtney Grueschow, Elena Brower, Erich Schiffman, International Ojai Yoga Crib, Kira Ryder, magic, meditation, Mijanou Montealagre, nature, photo essay, photography, prayer flags, Saul David Raye, sitar, The Gratitude Gathering, travel, yoga conference, yoga event, yoga teachers

Ojai Collage

This fall, Elena Brower was one of 19 yoga instructors asked to teach at the 2011 International Ojai Yoga Crib in Ojai, California (along with fellow Gaiam blogger Jill Miller). In this photo essay, Elena shares her experience at this life-affirming event.

Experiencing “Yoga Block”? How to Get Out of That Pose Rut

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 29th, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: asana, barbara benagh, boredom, change, creativity, cross-training, exercise, Fitness, gabriella giubilaro, imagination, Jill Miller, Kathryn Budig, muscles, plateau, repetitive, repitition, rodney yee, routine, sequence, Triangle Pose, willy wonka, workout, Yoga, yoga block, yoga DVDs, yoga poses, yoga rut, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga videos, yoga-practice

Yoga block

Is your yoga practice getting a little stale? Maybe you’ve been going to the same class at the same time each week for the past year. Or perhaps you use a video — the same video — every day. If you’re finding yourself a tad uninspired to get on your mat, you might be suffering from yoga block. And I don’t mean a yoga block “prop,” although if you’re really in a rut then your practice may need a little propping up!

Yoga for Peaceful Sleep

Sara Ivanhoe by Sara Ivanhoe | March 28th, 2011 | 4 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: asana, awake, caffeine, coffee, decaf, diet, energy, insomnia, legs up the wall pose, morning, nutrition, prana, restorative inversion, sleep, sleepless, stress, tea, tired, trouble sleeping, yoga poses

Woman doing yoga in bed

Tossing and turning when you should be snoozing? You aren’t alone. More than twenty million Americans suffer from a lack of sleep. In fact, insomnia, defined simply as a “difficulty falling or staying asleep,” is one of the fastest growing epidemics in our society.