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Yoga for All Seasons: Winter

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | December 31st, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: ayurveda, backbend, body, bow pose, Breath of Fire, circulation, cold weather, colds and flus, corpse pose, Dhanurasana, doshas, energy, Fish Pose, heat, herbs, hibernate, hibernation, humidifier, inversion, kapalabhati breathing, kapha, light therapy, Locust Pose, lymph, Matsyasana, neti post, pranayama, rejuvenate, relax, rest, root vegetables, SAD, Salabhasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, savasana, seasonal, seasons, Shavasana, shoulder stand, soup, spices, Sun Salutation, sunlight, Surya Namaskara, tea, vata, Vitamin D, warm-up, warming, winter yoga, yoga poses

Winter Yoga

It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. During the winter season, the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward. We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation. In preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.

An Ayurvedic approach to winter

There is a rule in Ayurveda that “like attracts like.” That is why the kapha and vata doshas can become provoked and aggravated during the dry, dark, cold months of winter. This is because the climate is alike the qualities of these two doshas. If kapha or vata are triggered, digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your doshas this season.

9 Yoga Moves to Blast Holiday Calories

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | December 5th, 2013 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: abs, arm balance, belly, Boat pose, body, Bound Lunge, burn-calories, Child’s Pose, christmas, core, Core Plank, diet, Dog Splits, downward dog, Easy Pose, eat, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, food cravings, handstand, health, holiday weight, holiday yoga, holidays, inversion, lose-weight, meditate, meditation, release, Revolved Pigeon, Shiva Kicks, Side Angle, side plank, strength, stress, Sukhasana, thanksgiving, thighs, Yoga, yoga for weight loss

GAIAM SIDE ANGLEHolidays are a time for family, friends and — let’s not kid ourselves — food. I love to go away for a few days and eat things I normally don’t in amounts that would shock a Sumo wrestler. Hence, it may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also a time when it’s all too easy to pack on the pounds along with the cheer.

Forget Yoga Envy + Remember Who You Are

Kathryn Budig by Kathryn Budig | October 29th, 2013 | 17 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: abilities, ability, asanas, ashtanga, blessings, body, compare, confidence, crying, disappointment, envious, envy, exercise, Fitness, frustration, gift, handstand, headstand, inversions, invert, jealous, jealously, Joseph Campbell, Kathryn Budig, love, negative thoughts, physical, self-love, self-respect, workout, Yoga, yoga class, yoga competition, yoga poses, yoga studio, yoga-practice

Yoga EnvyThe yoga practice is a glorious dance of the physical possibilities in the human body. An advanced practice can take your breath away as easily as it can expand your ujjayi. It can twist and turn in directions that make an artist quiver with creative jealousy and inspire even the heaviest of sloths to entertain a change of mind.

That being said — it can also be intimidating as hell.

I learned, trained, teach and practice in Santa Monica, California. It is the mecca of yoga these days and the cream of the crop when it comes to beautiful practices. It’s hard to find a level 2-3 class that doesn’t have at least one yogi soaring through the air in-between asanas or adding what appears to be a level-X variation to every pose. It can often be inspiring and mind-blowing but it can also be, in a word, daunting.

Your Breath Is Not a Safety Detector

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 14th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: body, breath, breathe, contortion, deep breathing, fascia, Gary Kraftsow, joints, myofascia, overstretching, proprioception, proprioceptors, sacroiliac joint, tissue, yoga pose, Yoga Tune Up®

Yoga Breath

“As long as you can take a deep breath in the pose, you’re safe.”

How many times have you heard this phrase from a yoga teacher? You may have even heard it from me…

Deep breathing has always been the fail-safe awareness detector for pose safety. The prevailing myth is that your breath is the best way to gauge whether or not you have traveled too deeply beyond your edge in a pose.

10 Tips for Daily Detox

Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez by Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez | May 30th, 2013 | 11 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Home | tags: allergens, allergies, balanced life, body, cleanse, conscious cleanse, detox, digestion, drink water, eat well, emotional health, exercise, flat stomach, food combinations, gluten-free, green smoothies, healing, healthy, hummus, immune system, inflammation, Lean, lemon water, processed foods, sensitivities, sugar cravings, sugar free, sweating, water

Imagine yourself standing on the top of a mountain. The sun is shining. Your hair is blowing in the wind. Your skin is warm and bronzed. You feel fit and lean, strong and powerful. You feel as healthy and alive as you’ve ever felt!

Anyone who’s completed a “successful” detox knows that’s exactly how it is to be standing at the supposed destination you’ve set for yourself. You relish a new-found radiance and are buzzing with pride from the compliments about your healthy glow and flat tummy.

It’s inevitable. You stand there at the top of this metaphorical mountain, with so much accomplishment behind you, feeling vibrant and energized, and you say to yourself, “I’m going to eat this way for the rest of my life.” And from the depths of your soul, you mean it.

And then … life happens.

Everyone Has a (Yoga) Story

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | April 25th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: awakening, be present, body, breath, challenged, desire, detox, distractions, head, healthy life, heart, impurities, injury recovery, inspiration, meditation, mind-body-connection, noise, peaceful life, perfection, presence, release tension, slow down, soul, source, strengthen, stress, teacher, tiered, transform, twists, ulcer, Yoga, yoga class, yoga poses, yogis

Everyone has a story about why they took their first yoga class and why they keep coming back. Most involve a desire to slow down, release tension, or recover from an injury. Mine is no different.

I took my first step onto the mat to learn how to let go of tension before it turned into an ulcer, as my lifestyle at that time was very fast-paced and stressful. Little did I know that in taking my first step on the mat, I would not only learn how to tune into my breath and strengthen my body, I would learn that I had the power to transform my life by gaining a clearer understanding of the mind-body connection.

This Joint Is Jumping — Getting Comfortable in an Unstable Body

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | March 13th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: addiction, Astanga, body, bulimia, eating disorder, fanatic, joint cracking, joints, overuse injury, pain, recovery, Relationships, Repetitive Stress Injury, Repetitive Stress Syndrome, self-massage, strength training, tissue breakdown, too much yoga, Yoga, yoga poses

yoga

Are you addicted to crack? Cracking your joints, I mean! There were years during my 20s when I could not fathom getting through my early-morning yoga practice without popping my shoulders, low back, hips and neck. I was popping and cracking my way through the day like a one-woman band.

Usually these fast internal whacks felt great, a rush that temporarily relieved aches and pains. What I didn’t know at the time was that all that cracking was not only emblematic of my body’s instability, but it was accelerating my own tissue breakdown.

4 Tips for a Yoga Teacher in Training

Kim Fuller by Kim Fuller | January 2nd, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: authentic awareness, body, breakthroughs, challenges, community, connection, Costa Rica, emotional work, expectations, expression, human development, inspiration, knowledge, movement, open heart, passion, personal practice, physical work, presence, Real Evolution Yoga, resistance, teaching, transformation, travel, willing mind, words of wisdom, writer, writing, yoga teacher training, yoga teachers, yoga-practice

Becoming a yoga teacher was never one of my life ambitions.

For over five years, my yoga practice brought me joy and fulfillment, but solely from my studentship. Teachers had always intrigued me with their beauty, strength, confidence and presence, but to actually become a yoga teacher seemed like entering a different realm — one that I thought could not possibly be as blissful as the space on my favorite coral-colored yoga mat.

But every now and then I would think about what it would be like to lead a class, spreading pieces of possibility and shining smiles to all the students. I would cue and they would flow, moving with ease to the perfect music I was playing that matched all the perfect words I was saying.

But then my daydreams would subside, and I would find myself happy to only be responsible for my own moves, my own mind. Why would I want to teach anyway? It would take up so much time. When would I get to do my practice? If I was teaching, I wouldn’t be learning.

But are the two job descriptions — writer and yoga teacher — really that dissimilar? As a writer, my true calling has always been found in the power of connection and inspiration, traits any good yoga teacher should possess. I like to set my own schedule, travel a lot, wear comfy clothes and work in bare feet. I love sharing my insights and experiences, spreading words of wisdom wherever I go.

So, yes, now I am not only a writer. My career of word crafting has united with my passion for movement.

4 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Evening

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | November 27th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Relationships | tags: back, bed, bedtime, body, breath, breathe, car, channel surfing, children, cleaning, cooking, couch, decompress, evening, family, floor, happy, intention, Internet, kids, meditate, meditation, mind, night, parenting, peaceful, pillow, relax, relaxing, rest, sleep, spine, stress, stressful, transitions, TV

Peaceful Evening

In theory, evening is a glorious time of day — a time to eat and spend time with loved ones and then unwind before bed. In reality, though, it’s often a stress fest – feed the kids, put the kids to bed, answer some emails, fall into bed. Or simply lost time – eat whatever, channel surf, cruise the Internet, then look up and wonder how it got to be 11:30 already.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to transform your evening hours into the respite they ought to be. Here are four of my favorite tips for a peaceful evening. I’d love to hear yours!

Motivation for Your Yoga Practice

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | November 8th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: alive, Big Happy Day, body, boost immune system, cancer, celebrate being alive, celebrate life, coach, compassion, daily yoga practice, dedicate, Dedication, discipline, exercise, Fitness, friendship, Hillary Rubin, inspiration, lost loved one, memory, motivation, move in your body, movement, muscle of discipline, no presssure, presence, video, wellness, Yoga, yoga mat

Wellness pioneer Hillary Rubin encourages us to stay motivated to make it to the yoga mat — and to practice compassion for ourselves on the days when we don’t. One of her favorite motivators? Dedicating your daily yoga practice to someone or something that inspires you.