yoga poses | pg.3

Activate Your Hope Chakra

Chrissy Carter by Chrissy Carter | April 18th, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: Anahata chakra, asana, bija mantra, breath, breathe, breathing technique, Chair Pose, corpse pose, darkness, depression, Fierce Pose, fourth chakra, heart chakra, HOPE, hopelessness, light, lotus pose, meditation, mountain-pose, Padmasana, pranayama, Rabindranath Tagore, savasana, Standing Forward Bend, Sun Salutation, Surya Namaskara, Tadasana, Utkatasana, Uttanasana, vinyasa, YAM, yoga poses

Chrissy Carter

Practice yoga with Chrissy Carter’s Chaturanga Vinyasa Flow video on GaiamTV.com.

It is impossible to know hope until one has experienced hopelessness — that feeling of suffocating permanence, as if you will be forever trapped in your present situation. In a place of hopelessness, all feels irrevocably lost. We harden and brace ourselves for permanent pain in the same way that we gather and store reserves in preparation for a long, hard winter. It’s as if the shutters have been closed and all the lights turned off. Lost in the darkness, we succumb to avidya (ignorance), the belief that our finite experience is all-pervasive and interminable. Helpless, hapless and hopeless, it is impossible to imagine a light at the end of the tunnel, and we start to lose sight of the big picture.

But in these times, hope can be a light in the darkness, filtering through the slats in the shutters, shifting the shadows in our dark room from ominous to promising. Suddenly and against all odds, we can find compassion for ourselves in the face of suffering.

Top 10 Sports-Related Injuries and Yoga Poses to Avoid Them

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | April 12th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: abdominals, abs, Achilles tendon, ACL, ankles, athletes, avoid injury, balance, feet, flexibility, flexible, foot, hamstrings, hips, injuries, joints, knees, low back, lower back, MCL, meniscus, muscles, neck, New York Giants, pain, plantar fasciitis, problems, shoulders, sports, sprains, strains, strength, tight, wrists, yoga poses

Yoga for Sports Injuries

The most common reason for sports-related injuries — whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, from ages 10-80 — is overuse and abuse. In my experience, most injuries arise when athletes disconnect from their bodies. Their eyes are on perfection, or the competition.

It follows that the best prevention is to become acutely aware of your body — its shape, its symmetry, how it feels, the range in the joints. Many sports can create asymmetries in the body because they are one-side dominant (think of swinging a baseball bat or golf club or tennis racket). It’s your job to recognize these imbalances before they become injuries. To help you, I’ve identified the top 10 most common sports-related injuries and given you a few yoga poses for athletes to to help correct the imbalances and asymmetries that cause them.

6 Yoga Poses for Insomnia

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | March 7th, 2012 | 24 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: anxiety, awake, bed, breathing techniques, calm the mind, Core scissors, fall asleep fast, fists forward bend, Fists of fire lunge, how to sleep better, insomnia, Janu front and center, janu sirsasana, Legs up the wall, natural sleep aids, relax, relaxation, relieve stress, rest, sleep, sleeping pills, slumber, stress, stretch, yoga bolster, yoga for insomnia, yoga poses

legswall_v3_007Whenever my friend Shannon can’t sleep because too many thoughts are barreling through her mind, she calls it “riding the A train.” She’ll text me at 3 a.m., “I’m on the A train again.” Of course, I get the message because I’m awake, too. My type A personality and business responsibilities are battling it out with my dire need for some mental stillness and rest.

Fortunately, I have a snooze-inducing ally in yoga, and when I get up and do the following sequence, miracles happen. In about 10 minutes, I’m back in bed, shifted toward sleep in a natural, easy way that no pill can provide.

What My Daily Practice Looks Like

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | March 1st, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: backbends, core, corpse pose, daily yoga practice, dance, handstand, inversions, Leg Stretch #3, longevity, matador circles, meditation, Monk Walks, movement, posture, Psoas, rotator cuff, savasana, self-massage, Shoulder stabilization, Side Bends, squats, twist, Twisted Triangle, uddihyana bandha, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga block, yoga instructor, yoga poses, yoga teacher, yoga therapy balls, Yoga Tune Up, Zobha

Daily Yoga PracticeStudent: Jill, what do you actually do for your personal yoga practice?

Me: I practice what I teach.

Student: You mean you don’t do anything else? Spinning? Or running? Or Zumba? I mean, how do you get your arms to look like that?

Me: I don’t mean to sound cryptic … but I practice what I teach.

It’s true. I have been practicing yoga and multiple movement arts since I was 11 years old, and the yoga practice I teach in the classroom (I began teaching part-time at age 19 at The Omega Institute) has evolved and changed with me through the past two decades. The work I share in my classes, workshops, conferences and videos all resonates with my own discoveries in my personal “jungle gym” of a practice.

Enrich Your Yoga Practice With Sanskrit

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | January 23rd, 2012 | 13 Comments
topic: Yoga | tags: chanting, chants, colleen saidman, mantra, mantras, pose names, sanskrit, Yoga, yoga class, yoga poses, yoga teacher

Sanskrit

Yoga students often wonder, “Why do we use Sanskrit terms when learning the poses? Is it important? Do we have to learn it?” I can relate because I once asked similar questions.

Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape — Open Your Hips!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | December 19th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Yoga | tags: alignment, disc degeneration, flexibility, hip openers, hips, Jill Miller, leg stretches, mobility, pain, Paris Hilton, posture, spinal discs, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up

Bent out of shapeFew things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture, and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.

Here are some Don’ts:

1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.

2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.

3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.

Here are some Do’s:

1. Stand up straight.

2. Point your toes forward.

3. Have some respect for your own structure.

Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.

Going Deeper Into a Pose? Or Going Off the Deep End?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | October 5th, 2011 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: awareness, be present, exercise, Fitness, Gil Hedley, go deeper into a yoga pose, health and wellness, Jill Miller, mental fatigue, over-exertion, over-stretching, physical fatigue, soft tissue damage, somanaut, Uttanasana, work out, workout, Yoga, yoga injuries, yoga injury, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up®

Jill Miller Standing Forward Fold

Going VERY deep into Uttanasana, a.k.a. Standing Forward Bend

Have you ever wondered what your yoga teacher means when she instructs you to “go deeper into the pose?” What exactly does this cue mean? Let’s say you’ve been holding the pose for a while, and are already shaking and trembling. Then instead of calling out a new pose, your teacher calls out “drop deeper into the pose!” You summon the courage to try it … but you aren’t exactly sure how, or what component of the pose needs further deepening.

As a teacher and a teacher trainer with more than 25 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of confused yoga students interpreting this cue in myriad ways:

Dancing Warrior: A Humble Yoga Sequence Teaches Strength

Kathryn Budig by Kathryn Budig | September 21st, 2011 | 6 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: aim true, Aim True Yoga DVD, dancing warrior, fear, happiness, home, Kathryn Budig, love, patience, reverse warrior, Reverse Warrior Pose, side angle pose, strength, vinyasa, warrior, warrior 1, warrior 2, Warrior I, Warrior II pose, warrior one, Warrior One Pose, Warrior Pose, warrior two, Warrior Two Pose, Yoga, yoga breathing techniques, yoga flow, yoga poses, yoga sequence

Dancing Warrior

No matter what
No matter where
It’s always home
If love is there.

I grew up with this quote hanging on our kitchen wall. As a little girl, I admired the fine needlework (yes, I grew up in Kansas) rather than the actual message embedded in the thread. As I’ve grown in life and with my yoga practice, I’ve come to fully understand the power behind this simple message. Home and comfort reside in the small things, and love is magically woven into every crevice of our lives when we learn to let go of the story we’re telling ourselves and open our eyes.

Short on Time? Try This All-in-One Yoga Pose!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 21st, 2011 | 22 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: alignment, benefits of yoga, Jill Miller, Leg Stretch #3, strength, stress, stretches, time out, Yoga, yoga block, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up®

All-In-One Yoga Pose: Leg Stretch #3

I have been teaching yoga for 17 years, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from students and yogaphobes alike is that they don’t have enough time for practice, so they avoid it altogether.

Avoiding a regular practice of stretching will never get you the healing benefits that come with the work. Even if you only do one pose a day, you will make a huge difference in your body, brain and well-being.

How Do You Accessorize Your Yoga Poses?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Yoga | tags: awareness, balance, breath, breathe, breathing, concentraion, core, Fitness, Jill Miller, lycra, male beads, muscle tension, muscles contraction, nervous energy, nervous system, nervousness, neurological overflow, neurological phenomenon, over-exertion, overcompensate, overflow, relax, relaxation, shoulder blades, shoulders, stability, stress, Whac-A-Mole, Whack-A-Mole, working out, workout, Yoga, yoga pose, yoga poses, Yoga TuneUp

Women making faces while doing yoga

Peep into any of the thousands of yoga classes across the globe and you will find that students are donning more than just yoga outfits. In addition to the latest leggings and tank tops by Zobha, Gaiam and Alo, you’ll also find students of every age, both male and female, sporting a different kind of accessory. These, however, are not made from lycra, mala beads or precious metals, but rather from an overzealous nervous system.

Glance around the room after the teacher calls out “Twisted Half Moon” (Pavritta Ardha Chandrasana) and you’ll see students with arms akimbo, clenched toes, fingers curled and faces contorted beyond recognition. These students are “accessorizing” their poses with parts of their body that don’t actually need to be involved.