Yoga | pg.3

“What Is Yoga?” Answering the Misinformed

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | March 27th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: breath, Iyengar yoga, meditation, mindfulness, power yoga, practice, rodney yee, the benefits of yoga, vinyasa, yin yoga, Yoga, yoga nidra, yoga-for-beginners

If you practice yoga, chances are someone is going to ask you what yoga is and why you do it. I have answered both of these questions time after time over the years and it never ceases to amaze me how much misinformation is circulating, based on stereotypes or without thinking.

I was talking to my brother a few weeks ago, expressing how great yoga would be for my niece who is a very flexible athlete.  His response? “She’ll start yoga when she’s 50 and starts to slow down.” You would think I would have taken this opportunity to inform him of the various styles of yoga available, the mental and physical benefits of yoga for all ages, and the need for an athlete to balance sports strength and power with the flexibility and healing benefits of yoga—but I didn’t. Instead I sat there stunned.

4 Ways to Get Enough Vitamin L

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | March 18th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: breathing, Cognitive neuroscience, cooking, emotional health, food, love, meditate, meditating, positivity, self-love, vitamin l, vitamins, Yoga, your yourself

I can remember the days when my multivitamins tasted like candy. It was an absolute pleasure to take those little Flintstone chewables every day in the hope of “growing strong bones,” as my dad used to put it. As I’ve gotten older, taking my daily vitamins is a sweet ritual that I have carried with me. I line them up and remember their purpose as I ingest each one. But this month, my focus has shifted. I’m not as concerned with my calcium supplementation or the millions of strands in my probiotic. I’m now interested in is a much more important vitamin, Vitamin L—Love.

5 Yoga Poses for PMS

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | March 18th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: downward facing dog, forward bends, Forward Folds, gaiam, heart openers, hip openers, massage, PMS, restorative yoga, savasana, Supta baddha konasana, Supta padangusthasana II, The 28 Days Lighter Diet, Upavistha konasana, Yoga, yoga blankets, yoga blocks

yoga poses for PMS

In America alone, 85 million women suffer from PMS, with symptoms including insomnia, depression, irritability, bloating, breast tenderness, and digestive issues. While PMS is common, it is not normal. Yes, there is some natural water retention that happens during a healthy menstrual cycle, and your energy will dip as you get closer to the first day of your period. But if you dread the days leading up to the start of your cycle, something is out of balance.

8 Yoga Poses to Try With a Yoga Block

Sara Fruman by Sara Fruman | March 14th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: blocks, bridge pose, camel pose, crow pose, engagement, Fish Pose, Forearm Stand, mindfulness, reverse triangle, splits, Yoga, yoga blocks

You walk into yoga class. The instructor calls out, “Option to grab a yoga block,” and receives smirks from much of the room. Real yogis don’t need blocks, right?

Well, it might be time to readjust your mat and your mindset. Yoga blocks can actually challenge your practice by allowing you to tackle more difficult postures. They can also help with alignment and proper muscle engagement.

So, grab a yoga block and give these eight yoga poses a try:

1. Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Place a yoga block between your inner thighs to energize them and advance the posture. Or, if you have difficulty lifting your pelvis, place a block under your sacrum for support.

Bridge Pose

9 Ways to Get Out of a Yoga Rut

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | March 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: fitness rut, flow, friendship, meditation, retreats, switching things up, types of yoga, Yoga, yoga insturctions, yoga rut, yoganonymous

Every once in a while we all get to the point where we just don’t want to unroll the yoga mat.

You may stare at that rectangle in disdain. Or maybe you hit the mat, but can only think about the thousand other things that you would rather be doing. Sometimes you may not even be aware you are in a rut until — epiphany — a rut!

We all get there sooner or later, but the trick is out to get out of it. Below are nine suggestions for getting out of the yoga rut:

A Crash Course in Being Kind

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | February 17th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: Brithandaranyaka Upanishad, judgement, kind, kindness, oneness, smile, spirituality, support, uplift, uplifting, Yoga

There’s nothing more heartbreaking to me than when people are unkind to one another.

When we are young, we learn the most fundamental teachings about being human: be nice to one another, share, clean up after yourself, don’t take things that aren’t yours, etc. But it seems that when we become adults, we often forget everything that was a part of these original lessons of life. Even the yoga community is littered with heartbreaking exchanges. If unkindness is evident in a community dedicated to conscious living, I imagine it is even more insidious in other spheres.

Embracing Impermanence: How a Control Freak Learned to Let Go

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | February 17th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: awareness, breath, compassion, control, impermanence, mala, meditation, meditation chair, mindfulness, practice, Yoga

I have been making friends with impermanence. It may sound silly, but after a profound meditation experience, I came face to face with the realization that I am a control freak, and while that control has helped me in some ways, it has also caused me much suffering. I’ve opened up to the reality that everything is in a state of impermanence — the seasons change, each day is different from the previous one, all living things grow, relationships change, the years go by.

At first this was rather scary to me, as it brought up all of my fears of the unknown. I wanted to hide in my usual pattern of planning in order to maintain some power over the future. Then it dawned on me: My life is in a much better place than it used to be, and that is due primarily to the moments over the past few years when I let go and went with the flow.

1-Minute Mindfulness Practice

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | February 11th, 2014 | 3 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: 2014, believe in yourself, goals, inspiration, mindfulness practice, new intentions, new year inspiration, resolutions, satya, truth, Yoga

Mindfulness Meditation

The cold winter months are a good time to delve within to decide where you want to invest our energy, what you want to hold onto, and what you want to let go. This is always a very exciting time for me because although every day is a chance for a new beginning, I love the energy around this time of year. Everyone is open to the possibility of change and the boundless opportunity found there. To keep the momentum going, it is important to stay connected to your goals, your inspiration, and your belief in yourself.

6 Yoga Poses to Open Your Heart

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | February 9th, 2014 | 4 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: gaiam, heart openers, heart opening, love, self-love, Valentines Day, Yoga

SIDE SPIN

This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to start having a sizzling affair. Not the way you think, though — I want you to choose your closest soul mate, the one who’s been there for you during all the ups and downs of your life and the person who has never, ever left you, and never will.

Here’s to a Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day! Plus: A Pancake Recipe Sure to Make them Swoon

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | February 9th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Healthy Eating, Relationships | tags: dark chocolate, Fitness, healthy pancake recipe, healthy valentine treats, healthy-eating, heart health, the firm, treats, valentine treats, Valentines Day, working out together, Yoga

Heart-Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes

By The FIRM Master Instructor Leslie Perry Duffy

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a gigantic box of chocolates, right? Hardly! This special holiday symbolized by hearts and celebrated with high-calories treats can be anything but heart-healthy. However, there’s no hard and fast rule that requires us to celebrate with sugary candy and foods saturated with fat. Celebrating Valentine’s Day in a healthy way does not mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite treat in moderation. Or, forget the treats and celebrate in a unique way that’s special for you and your loved one(s).