Going on a yoga retreat is a beautiful opportunity to delve deeper into your yoga practice, take some much needed time to connect to yourself, and add healing treatments like massage or meditation…depending on where you choose to retreat. If you are able to attend a retreat, I highly recommend it; however, if you aren’t able to attend a retreat, why not create your own in three easy steps?
As a long-time yoga practitioner, I remember speaking with my teachers and fellow students 15 years ago about the discomforting fact that images in the publications were almost always those of young, white, athletic women or prominent male “gurus.” Some of us wrote letters to the editor protesting this fact, but nothing really changed.
Here at Gaiam we know the importance of yoga for kiddos. Our bright, playful teeny yogi collection inspires even the littlest ones to come to the mat.
Since I have yet to have a human child, I have started getting my fur baby involved in my practice. So here are a few tricks for yoga for you and your dog.
Family yoga is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, incorporating the breathing, mindfulness, and physical benefits of yoga with the fun, creative spirit of your family.
These Resource Girls avoided yoga for years. Lauren was never big into working out and Cat wanted a “real” workout, not to sit in a circle and hum. Clearly, we were misinformed. Have you ever firmly believed something so strongly, only to find out you were completely wrong?
You roll out your yoga mat, take your seat, and begin your routine before class starts. A routine comprised of stretching, sitting or lying down to mentally prepare, or maybe enjoying some time to chat with your fellow yogis. All is as it should be, yet something seems off. You’re uninspired, going through the motions, not as aware of what you’re doing, feeling low in energy and even contemplating the need to take more breaks.
When I became a yoga teacher 13 years ago, I was keenly interested in introducing yoga into hospitals and mental health centers. I began my own practice right after my father died, and experienced such grounding within my grief that I longed to share the benefits of yoga with people who’d experienced illness or trauma. I taught in hospitals, but it was five years later, in county drug court, that I found my true niche working with teens.
On a regular basis, I have people tell me all of the reasons they don’t do yoga: they aren’t flexible enough, they feel awkward compared to others in class, they can’t quiet their mind, they aren’t fit…the list goes on and on, filled with fear and uncertainty. While it makes me sad that so many people are holding themselves back from experiencing the transformative beauty of yoga, I am also happy that so many people are sharing these thoughts with me because in sharing they are looking for answers.
The very first yoga class I ever attended was Iyengar-based. This was some fifteen years ago, when I was totally into Tai Bo, Spin and Step Aerobics. Kind of an unusual transition, really. Truth be told, I hated it. I could hear the clock ticking, I did not sweat, and there was no music. It felt like such a waste of time to me. It took me a good month to go back. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth, but something kept me going back once a week.
How long have you been coming to your yoga mat? When you think about your yoga practice, can you remember what brought you to yoga and how you felt during your first class? It’s been over 15 years since I first stepped on my yoga mat and I remember exactly how I felt. Excited and terrified.