breathe

Yoga for All Seasons: Summer

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | June 23rd, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Yoga | tags: asanas, ayurveda, backbends, breath, breathe, Bridge, calming yoga, coconut water, cooling yoga poses, diet, doshas, eat what's in season, electrolytes, energy, Floor Twists, food, Forward Folds, heat, herbs, hot, local, Moon Salutation, nutrition, pitta dosha, pose, seasonal eating, seasons, Seated Forward Fold, Shitali Pranayama, Single-Nostril Breathing, spices, summer yoga, sun salutations, Supported Shoulder Stand, warm weather, water, Wide-Legged Forward Fold

summer yogaAs the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonize and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons themselves: hours of daylight, foods that are abundant at particular times of the year, weather patterns and seasonally inspired activities.

Although your body will adjust to these changes naturally, it never hurts to integrate some simple tweaks into your routine to aid in the transition and link yourself more intimately with the season that is upon you.

Breathing Meditation for Patience

Jessica Mehring by Jessica Mehring | March 25th, 2014 | 5 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: breath, breathe, colorado, gaiam, mediation, meditate, mindfulness, Pema Chodron, practicing mindfulness, Spring, Yoga

“Patience is not learned in safety.” -Pema Chodron

Spring tests my patience. Every single year. Especially here in Colorado, as the weather whips back and forth between snow and sun, and as calm mornings give way to blustery afternoons, my patience is tried every spring. I become anxious for warmer, more stable weather.

Every spring, I am reminded once again that I am not in control. Patience is the only way through.

We humans, though, don’t learn patience the easy way. We don’t learn patience when things are going our way. Rather, we learn patience when we are tested, and when we finally have to accept that we can’t control the world.

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.

5 Yoga Poses to Fight Seasonal Allergies

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | May 7th, 2013 | 4 Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: air pollution, allergens, allergic reaction, allery symptoms, alternative medicine, alternative therapies, asthma, backbends, breath, breathe, breathing, bronchitis, cigarette smoke, coughing, doctor, dust, expert, Fish Pose, food, Gwen Lawrence, health, holistic healing, immune system, insect venom, instructor, inversions, itchy eyes, mold, perfume, plow pose, pollen, respiratory system, runny nose, seasonal allergies, shoulder stand, sneezing, stress, strong odors, teacher, Three-Part Yogic Breath, watery eyes, well-being, wellness, yoga for allergies, yoga poses

Yoga for Allergies

It’s allergy season — that time of year when many of us are plagued by itchy or watery eyes, runny noses, and bouts of sneezing and coughing that threaten to knock pictures off the wall. These common allergy symptoms are the body’s way of defending itself against bacteria and viruses. Luckily, yoga can help!

First, we have to figure out where those annoying symptoms are coming from. Allergies are triggered by allergens. Some of the most common seasonal allergens include pollen, dust, mold, food and insect venom. Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and some strong odors (such as perfumes) also impinge the respiratory system.

The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid what triggers them — such as by staying indoors on days when the pollen count is at its highest and keeping your home free of dust. But yoga can also help with both the prevention and management of allergy symptoms.

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!

Yoga Poses for Tight Hamstrings & Back Pain

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | November 8th, 2012 | 5 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: back strain, back-pain, breathe, desk jobs, desk stretches, desk yoga, Gwen Lawrence, hamstrings, herniated disc, injury, legs, low back pressure, lower back, lumbar, Pigeon pose, Plow Pose with straight legs, poses for hamstrings, posture, Seated Forward Bend, short hamstring, short hamstrings, spine, Standing Forward Bend, Standing Forward Bend against the wall, stretch, stretches, stretching, thighs, tight hips, weak abdominals, Wide-Legged Forward Bend, Yoga, yoga poses, yoga poses for hamstrings

Standing Forward FoldEverybody is susceptible to tight hamstrings, from professional athletes to soccer moms. People who spend long hours sitting at a desk or who have rigorous training schedules can especially benefit from a “hammie” stretch or two (or three or four).

Make Your Posture Perfect: Breathe Down Your Spine

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 13th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: breath, breathe, breathing, chest breather, diaphragm, Dr. Kelly Starrett, erectors, exercise, intercostal muscles, Jill Miller, lower back, lungs, massage, muscles, posture, respiratory system, rhomboids, ribs, slouch, slump, spine, tension, trapezius, vertebrae, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up

Are you proud of your posture? Or do you feel a bit slumpy? Did your mom tell you to sit up straight? Does she still cajole you?

I’m on your mom’s side! Most people do not pay enough attention to their daily posture and everyday movement habits, and it can have long-term health consequences if left unimproved. I see postural issues daily in my Yoga Tune Up® classrooms. And as a self-proclaimed “posture princess,” I want to motivate you to make better choices to improve your carriage.

Did You Finish Breathing Yet?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 27th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: abdominal muscles, abs, body, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, CrossFit, diaphragm, focus, hiccup cure, hiccups, Jill Mller, Kelly Starrett, lungs, mindful, Mobilitywod.com, pranayama, respiration, respiratory system, San Francisco CrossFit, uddiyana bandha, Yoga, yoga class, yoga instructor, Yoga TuneUp

Yoga class standing in Mountain Pose

SCENE: A yoga class. Students are standing in Mountain Pose like a Buddhist “army.”

Teacher: Breathe in…

Class: (A subtle, yet audible “sucking” sound is heard.)

Teacher: And breathe out…

Class: (A subtle, yet audible “whooshing” sound is heard.)

Teacher: Good. Now three more deep breaths just like that.

Class: (They are audibly compliant until…)

Teacher: Now step your right foot back.

Class: (The sound of 25 left feet strike the pose, and no more breathing is heard.)

Teacher: What, no more breathing? Let every movement be a prompt to remind you to breathe for the next 90 minutes.

Class: (Sound of breathing is amplified again, and class proceeds smoothly until … well, the class forgets to breathe again. And again. And again sporadically throughout the class.)

What’s going on here? Why do so many of us forget to breathe? Did you actually finish breathing?

It seems laughable, the notion of “finishing breathing.” Our nervous systems are actually built in such away that breath happens automatically, without us prompting our breathing muscles every few seconds. Think about it, a lot of mental energy is actually required to control every single breath (instead of letting it happen on its own), and our brains have a zillion other tasks to balance. But the breezy thing about breathing is that we can control it, and in so doing we can deliberately impact every system of the body.

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

Week 7: Breathe and Reboot

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | April 23rd, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: 10-week program, bikini body, breath-work, breathe, breathing, burn-calories, energy levels, exercise, Fitness, health, healthy, lose-weight, metabolism, motivation, personal trainer, recover, recovery, relax, relaxation, rest, spring training, week 7, week seven, weeks, weight-loss, well-being, wellness, Yoga

Woman doing breathing exercises

When I demand that my clients incorporate rest into their intense workout schedule, I’m always met by googly eyes and a surprised “You want me to do nothing?!” But it’s a matter of fact that no workout plan works to its fullest potential if you don’t rest properly.

As with everything else in life, there are huge benefits to finding the right balance between active exercise and recovery. During the rest and recovery time (which of course includes enough hours of sleep every night), cells heal, your body re-boots and energy stores replenish. That’s why it is extremely important to let the body heal for one or even two days per week so you can reap the benefits of all your hard work. And if you are on a plan that has you working out almost every day of the week, that’s never going to happen!