yoga poses

Yoga for All Seasons: Spring

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | March 19th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Detox, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Yoga | tags: asanas, astringent, awakening, ayurveda, backbends, bitter, bridge pose, camel pose, circulation, cleanse, detox, detoxification, detoxify, diet, dry skin brushing, emotions, exercise, food, hibernation, immune system, immunity, Kapha dosha, metabolism, neti pot, nutrition, oxygen, prana, Rabbit Pose, rebirth, seasons, Seated Forward Fold, shift, spicy, spring clearning, spring yoga, standing forward fold, sun salutations, sunlight, toxins, twists, warm weather, Wheel Pose, Wind-Removing Pose, winter, yoga poses

Spring Yoga

The season of new beginnings is upon us. With the arrival of spring, we shift from the hibernation of the winter months to an awakening of rebirth. Spring invites us to open back up, delight in warmer days and cultivate a spirit of aliveness.

As sunlight paves longer days, warm, damp spells have the potential to leave congestion and upper respiratory conditions in their wake. Spring is the time for releasing deep-seated emotions of sorrow and sadness. Support your body through this transition with the following recipe for balance as we embrace this upcoming season.

Detox Yoga Pose Sequence

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | February 6th, 2014 | 25 Comments
topic: Detox, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: cleanse, core strength, meditation, power yoga, pranayama, stress-relief, vinyasa, weight-loss, Yoga, yoga for detox, yoga poses, yoga-practice

Detox Yoga

Before the holidays is a great time to detox. It can stave off weight gain and put you in a healthy mindset to help you resist temptation. And detoxing after the holiday “re-tox” — no matter how much carnage was left on that Thanksgiving dinner table, or how much stress crept into your weekend — is as easy as unrolling your mat. No matter when or on what level you could use a little realigning, this sequence is for you.

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.

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!

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.

Yoga for All Seasons: Autumn

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | October 13th, 2013 | 8 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: autumn, ayurveda, backbends, bow pose, bridge pose, camel pose, change, cold, corpse pose, diet, doshas, energy, fall, food, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Noose Pose, Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose, Revolved Triangle Pose, routine, savasana, seasons, Shavasana, Side Stretches, sun salutations, twists, vata, Warrior I Pose, Warrior II pose, Yoga, yoga poses

Yoga in AutumnFall is the season of transformation. We can see this all around us in nature: the leaves are falling, the air is changing and we are harvesting an entirely new crop of fruits and vegetables.

It is important that we change with the seasons — just as nature does — by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices.

Ironically, it is only through change that was can stay grounded during this shifting season.

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Back Pain

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | September 4th, 2013 | 187 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: abs, asanas, back spasms, back strength, back traction pose, back-pain, child's pose, core strength, curvature, down dog, downward facing dog, fists forward bend, forward fold, pigeon, Sadie Nardini, sciatic pain, spinal alignment, spinal discs, spine, support, tension, wall plank, yoga for back pain, yoga poses

Yoga for Back Pain - Forward Fold

Fifteen years ago, I was not acting my age. Since I would recoil from any form of exercise, as well as any green foods, I was overweight, inflexible and debilitated by lower back pain. The 40 extra pounds on my frame — plus tight, shortened back muscles and weak abs — left me moving like an 80-year-old version of myself.

I suffered daily from sciatica, back spasms, limited mobility, weakness, you name it. When I got stuck in my car one day, unable to swing my legs out because of my sciatic pain — at age 23 — I realized, “Something’s gotta change.”

I started reading up and realized a shocking number of people suffer with chronic back pain, partly from hours spent sitting in a way that flattens the lower back curve. (BTW, Gaiam’s Balance Ball Chair, the very one I’m sitting on as I write this, is a great tool to help build core strength and re-align your spine.)

Then, I found yoga. Over time, using some of the same poses I’m showing you here, I built a lean and pain-free body.

5 Yoga Poses to Fight Seasonal Allergies

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | May 7th, 2013 | 3 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.

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.

Yoga and the Earth

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | April 22nd, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Green Living, Yoga | tags: ahimsa, change, composting, Earth Day, eco-friendly, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, electricity, energy, environment, green, habits, Hanumanasana, lights, Lizard Pose, Mother Earth, non-violence, One-Legged King Pigeon Pose, organic cotton, Parasvottanasana, planet, Pyramid Pose, recycled, recycling, Splits Pose, tree-pose, trees, Utthan Pristhasana, Vrksasana, Yoga, yoga block, yoga mat, yoga poses, yoga props, yoga strap

Earth Day YogaAs you grow and deepen your conversation with yoga, it becomes quite clear that the yoga practice must stretch far beyond the boundaries of that little sticky mat. Naturally, your practice begins to bleed into every part of your life, saturating your world with concepts like ahimsa (non-violence). Part of that concept is living in a way that is non-harming to the Earth.

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to explore this mind-set, as we look for ways to give back to our life-sustaining planet. Every moment we are nourished and blessed by the abundant gifts of the Earth, and on this particular day we have the chance to give gratitude back to the source! This is a special chance to develop lasting rituals in your yoga practice and in your life that nurture an eco-centric approach to everyday living and that have the potential to last all year round.