relaxation

12 Tips for a Better Yoga Practice

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | January 17th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: hydrate, meditate, plateau, relaxation, savasana, ujjayi breathing, water, yoga class, yoga clothes, yoga props, yoga tips, yoga-practice, yoganonymous

yoga practice

Feel like your yoga practice has reached a plateau? We’ve got 12 quick and easy tips to keep your practice evolving.

1. Hydrate all day: Stopping to sip in the middle of your yoga practice can mess with your flow, so it’s vital to arrive to class hydrated. Focus on drinking water all day long — you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.

Best Yoga Pose to Release Holiday Stress

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | December 10th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: anxiety, christmas, downward dog, downward facing dog, holiday stress, holidays, poses, relaxation, relieve stress, stress, stress-relief, stretch, stretching, Yoga, yoga poses

down-dog-croppedThe holidays can be a time of fun and family. But for many, it can also be a time of added stress — good and bad! One of my favorite ways to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress is yoga. Speaking as a type-A, high-energy person, yoga is the perfect antidote to this stress-filled, anxiety-ridden, wound-up-tight-as-a-drum world we live in. For me, yoga is like personal therapy!

3 Ways to Cool Down with Yoga, Meditation and Breathing

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | August 5th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: be present, breathing-exercises, Left nostril pranayama, meditation, relaxation, Shitali Pranayama, summer yoga

Summer Yoga

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun with more open schedules, warmer weather, outdoor activities and vacations. However, there can also be a sense of pressure and stress in trying to meet our expectations of a laid-back season.

Just the other day, I looked at my calendar and felt overwhelmed by all of the activities on it. Delving deeper, I realized that I needed to create some space to simply be: read a book, go deeper into my meditation practice, savor the smell of a peach as I cut into it or the smell of flowers while sitting in my yard.

Taking the time to be present in the moment is a beautiful practice in its own right, and yoga and meditation are two ways achieve that goal by creating a space within, bringing your attention inward and turning your thoughts away from distractions.

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.

Stress Break: Better Breath, Better Life

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | November 23rd, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: alive, awareness, Big Happy Day, breath, breathing exercise, dance, depth of breath, healthy relationships, Hemalayaa, Kasey Luber, mind, mindful, moment, pause breath, present, quality of breath, relaxation, shift energy, spirituality, stress, stress break, Yoga

Take a “stress break” with yoga and dance teacher Hemalayaa. She believes that a better quality of breath will translate into a better quality of life.  Participate in a short breathing exercise of bringing your awareness to a deeper breath, and see how this can give you a deeper appreciation for being alive. This is a tool you can take with you and integrate into your daily life for rich relationships and a peaceful sense of self.

Help for Insomnia: DIY Dream Pillows

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | August 27th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Health & Wellness | tags: Annie Bond, aromatherapy, Calmes Forte, can't sleep, dream pillow, essential oils for sleep, good night's rest, help sleeping, herb sachet, herbs for sleep, insomnia, lack of sleep, relaxation, scents for sleep, sedative, sleep deprivation, sleeplessness

Dream pillow with lavender

Almost everyone has spells of insomnia, but some have more trouble with it than others. If finding the way to a good night’s sleep is a quest, here are a few ideas you may not have tried.

Family-Friendly Spa Vacations to Rejuvenate All Ages

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | July 30th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness | tags: acne, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, Austin, baby massage, beauty, body wrap, California, children, Chocolate Spa, dad, Disney Aulani Resort, facial, family vacation, Fitness, Grand Wailea, hawaii, Hawaiian lomi lomi treatment, Hotel Hershey, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Lost Pine Resort, hydrotherapy, kids, Laniwai Spa, manicure, massage, Maui, mom, nail polish, North Carolina, Oahu, Painted Sky, parents, pedicure, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Pinehurst Resort, relaxation, San Antonio, san diego, scrub, Sea Spa at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, skincare, Spa at Pinehurst, Spa Grande, spa package, spa vacation, spray-tanning, stress-relief, teenagers, teens, Texas, The SPAhhhT, wellness, Wild Hare Youth Spa, Windflower: The Hill Country Spa, Yoga

Family Spa Vacation

Sometimes I almost regret introducing my 14-year-old daughter to the delights of massage therapy, since she’s now as avid as I am to enjoy the relief and recalibration that come with a good professional treatment, which rarely comes cheap. Yet as a dancer, runner and dedicated student, she benefits as much as I do from the health advantages of bodywork, or even an occasional pedicure treat for her tired feet.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking that a mother-daughter spa getaway might be refreshing for both us, and a fun way to connect outside our usual daily routine of overly packed schedules.

Traditionally, spa vacations have been romantic retreats for couples or escapes for harried women who juggle too much. Today, however, as kids’ lives get ever busier and stress becomes an issue that even preteens are dealing with, a family spa experience in a restful setting can accomplish two purposes: vacation time together while nurturing wellness for all ages.

S-U-M-M-E-R: That’s How I Spell Fun, Fresh and Fit!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 23rd, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: clothes, Clothing, diet, exercise, fashion, Fitness, food, fruits, health, healthy, hydrate, hydration, nutrition, relax, relaxation, SPF, stress, summer, summer produce, summer wardrobe, sun, swim, swimming, the firm, vacation, vegetables, veggies, warm weather, water, work out, workout

SummerBy The FIRM Master Instructor Robyn Smarr

I love summer! If you were listening to this post rather than reading it, you would surely hear me shouting this sentence as loudly as I possibly can.

Maybe it’s because I was born in the crazy heat of August. (I have a theory that people tend to favor the season in which they were born.) Or maybe it’s because I practically lived at the pool and the beach as a child. Or maybe it’s because I can wear flip-flops every day during the warm summer months (the best “shoe” ever invented)! Regardless of the reason, I find so much joy and rejuvenation during the summer.

Here are my favorite tricks for making the most out of your S-U-M-M-E-R:

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!