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Find Your Yoga / Trouvez votre yoga

24 Mar
whether you're a gym addict, thrill seeker, or outdoor enthusiast, there's a yoga style for you.

whether you’re a gym addict, thrill seeker, or outdoor enthusiast, there’s a yoga style for you.

How to create a yoga practice to prepare for a difficult posture

28 Feb
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From Sequencewiz.com

From Sequencewiz.com

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The Best Restorative Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress

16 Feb

The Best Restorative Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress

The Best Restorative Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress

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Tree pose

11 Feb

Tree pose

Tree pose, Tadasana, yoga pose, yoga position, asana, yoga

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Common mistakes in Downward Dog and how to fix them.

10 Feb

Common mistakes in Downward Dog and how to fix them.

Downward Dog

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Headstand

1 Feb

Headstand

Head games : Turn your yoga practice upside down with these energizing poses.

Dogs + Yoga = Doga: Turn Your Pooch into a Barking Buddha | DogVacay Official Blog

19 Jan

Downward facing dog is no longer just for humans. Whether you’re an avid yoga practitioner or an amateur, self-proclaimed yogi, you may be compelled to try out a new trend in the world of exercising: Doga. Doga combines dogs and, well, yoga, to make for a relaxing health routine for humans and canines alike. Never done yoga with Spot before? No problem. There are multiple at-home workout DVD’s on the market that will teach you the ins and outs of doga, or, if you’re feeling really determined, enrolling your pup and yourself in a doga class may be in order.

The doga concept was originated by Suzi Teitelman and her dog Coali. During her at-home yoga sessions, Teitelman noted that Coali seemed to be very intrigued at the practice, prompting Teitelman to work on poses with none other than her four-legged best friend, Coali. The idea escalated from there. Teitelman began conducting doga classes and soon enough, the practice became popular among the poshest of pooches.

Known as ‘dogi’s,’ doga practitioners work with their doggy parents on a variety of poses such as “upward-paw pose,” triangle pose, and balancing stick pose; they also provide pooches with a light stretch and massage. Doga may also include other exercises such as meditation and eye-gazing to enhance the human-canine bond, and because dogs are pack animals, they make the perfect yoga partner for strengthening harmony and unity with others.

Want to try out some doga poses with your own pooch? Try these out!

viaDogs + Yoga = Doga: Turn Your Pooch into a Barking Buddha | DogVacay Official Blog.

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This is your brain on yoga

19 Jan

This is your brain on yoga

HOW TO AVOID WRIST PAIN IN YOGA

15 Jan

via YOGABYCANDACE.

The sun salutation cycle / La salutation au soleil

11 Jan

Good to do some fast paced cycles in quick succession for a morning workout!

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Il est bon d’en faire quelques séquences rythmées pour un exercice matinal!

The sun salutation cycle

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5 ways to improve almost any yoga pose

8 Dec

5 ways to improve almost any yoga pose

Mindfulness – What is mindfulness meditation?

6 Jun
Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation

Best yoga hip openers – Ouverture des hanches

5 Jun

Standing deep breathing – Pranayama

20 May

We decided to look into the postures deeply and give you an overview and tips! Lets start with the first one – Standing deep breathing!

Standing deep breathing: Pranayama

Standing deep breathing: Pranayama

Next time you’re on the bus, look at how people breathe. You might notice that most of us are chest breathers: we only take shallow breaths into the chest, rarely getting air into the bottom two-thirds of our lungs.

Now check out how babies breathe. See those bellies hard at work? We were all belly breathers when were kids, and then, because of stress and conditioning, we turned into chest breathers. We can regain our ability to breath in a slow, deep, and healthy manner through pranayamabreathing from below the belly button on up.

This posture will teach you to use 90% of the lungs that is usually sedentary.

Headaches, ribcage cramps during class are ofter due to poor breath control.

Benefits

  • Increases circulation to the whole body
  • Wakes you up and helps you to focus and concentrate
  • The deep inhale sends fresh air to the deeper parts of your lungs, giving the body a tremendous supply of oxygen and helping your lungs to work more efficiently.
  • Holding the deep breath in for a moment raises your internal temperature, warming up the body of from the inside out as your cells absorb fresh oxygen from the bloodstream.
  • When you exhale using your diaphragm and contracting the intercostal muscles, you force carbon dioxide and other toxins out of the lungs. If you’ve ever been a smoker, this is a great way to help heal your lungs.
  • The entire breathing exercise strengthens abdominal muscles, loosens the neck and shoulders, and helps reduce stress. We spend a great deal of our day actually holding our breath – it’s a natural reaction to stress. Learning to consciously focus on deep breathing relaxes the body and calms the mind, and keeps the oxygen flowing, improving our health!
  • It can decrease irritability, nervousness and improve chronic shortness of breath.

Here is a nice video from Australian Bonfire Bikram studio. Enjoy and learn everything you need to know about Pranayama

viaThe Best Yoga For You: Standing deep breathing – Pranayama.

What is your yoga style?

16 May
From Alisonhinksyoga.com

From Alisonhinksyoga.com

Dare To Be Creative “LOLË Love”

14 May
From Löle Love

From Löle Love

“Poets don’t invent new words, and musicians don’t invent new notes, yet their work reassembles the known and turns it into something fresh and original.” Writes Nadia Lakhdari, VP of Content and Event Program at C2-MTL. She continues: “Creativity means seeing the world and its possibilities in a new way, making connections between thoughts and ideas that at first glance do not appear to be related, and above all, having the guts and the drive to bring these discordant ideas to life.

” Dubbed “a business conference, but different,” C2-MTL addresses how commerce and creativity can team up to redefine business. Curated by international creative agency Sid Lee, in collaboration with founding partner Cirque du Soleil and content partner Fast Company, C2-MTL will unfold in a Montreal innovation village designed specifically for the occasion, May 21 – 23, 2013. The three-day event assembles multimedia conferences by internationally acclaimed speakers, engaging exhibitions, interactive installations, collaborative workshops, a creativity boot camp, parties, and even Lolë Yoga meet-ups!

Lyne St-Roch, the Lolë’s ambassador who will be leading Montreal’s Lolë White Yoga Sessions this summer, will be taking a creative approach to yoga. Throughout C2’s breaks, Lyne will be leading participants through a yoga practice like they’ve never experienced before. Forget downward dog! Event participants will be encouraged to keep their suits and trendy outfits on and discover a whole new way to zen. Sold? Get 10%OFF your ticket to C2 by purchasing it on the special lolë c2 page. See you there!

viaDare To Be Creative « LOLË Love.

About Yoga Food

2 May

ABOUT YOGA FOOD

Yoga food is vegetarian.

It is an eating philosophy based on a wholesome vegetarian diet. Its principles of healthy eating use vegetarian ingredients in combination with spices and herbs that have therapeutic value and delicious flavors.

“You Are What you Eat” – a commonly used phrase in yoga, has a powerful meaning. Yoga believes that food not only influences your body in the physical sense but is also known to directly influence emotions and feelings. It can induce bliss or anger, contentment or restlessness, thoughts of the sacred or the profane. The quality of the food you eat literally creates your state of mind and emotions. The teachings of yoga advocate a vegetarian diet with special emphasis on foods that bring peace to body, mind, and sprit.

Why vegetarian? – Yoga food is based on the idea that foods must be consumed in their most natural forms in order to realize their true benefits. The yogic belief is that several health disorders can be traced to faulty nutrition, poor diet and difficulty in digestion. The big Idea? – In order to stay healthy and happy “food should be digested very easily”! A vegetarian yoga diet ensures that all faculties of digestion work smoothly—absorption, assimilation, and elimination. The diet also contains high amounts of fiber and antioxidants. Yoga food helps to maintain a strong and healthy body, a stress-free mind, and a positive spirituality in our complex lifestyles. The benefits of a well-balanced vegetarian diet can be powerful.

Yoga Food is classified into 3 categories – Sattvic, Rajasic, and Tamasic Foods

SATTVIC FOOD – EAT MOST

Sattvic Foods are foods that should be eaten the most and that are very easily digestible. These foods nourish the body, purify the mind and heal the imbalance in the body by generating good health, energy, vitality, vigor, mental alertness, peace and strength. These include foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as vegetables, fruits, herbs; essential dietary fiber and carbohydrates required by the body include whole and unrefined grains; protein rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy; natural sweeteners such as honey and raw sugar, therapeutic spices in small quantities, oil and ghee (Indian clarified butter) in small quantities for the required fat in the body.

RAJASIC FOODS – EAT MODERATELY

Rajasic Foods are foods that should be eaten moderately or occasionaly and are foods that are not as easily digestible like Sattvic foods. Although, these foods create restlessness and provide extra-stimulation, it is sometimes required when the body needs higher amounts of energy or during the fall and winter seasons. They include very spicy, hot, salty, bitter, sour, pungent, and gaseous foods such as chickpea, toor lentil, white urad lentil, black and green gram, soy bean, hot spices such as red chili powder and black pepper, stimulants such as onion, garlic, tea, coffee, chocolate and wine.

TAMASIC FOODS – EAT LEAST

Tamasic Foods are foods that should be eaten the least and are foods that are difficult to digest. These foods require a lot more energy to digest and are known to be the least beneficial to the mind and the body. Tamasic foods can enhance dullness, lethargy, depression the body feel heavy, generating the least amount of energy. When eaten too often or in excess they could destroy the body’s resistance to disease. They include meat, fish, eggs, intoxicants, alcohol, and foods that are processed, chemically altered, artificially flavored, food kept for over 24 hours, reheated and deep-fried foods.

YOGA FOOD TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR GOOD HEALTH

Eat four times a day at four hour intervals

Do not skip breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day

Do not drink water with your meal – drink water 30 minutes before a meal

When you eat a meal, you’re stomach should be 1/2 filled with food, ¼ with water (drunk 30 minutes before) and ¼ should be empty for proper digestion

Eat food that is freshly cooked

Do not overeat or eat too less

Food should be tasty and easy to digest

Food should be eaten with concentration and in a calm environment

So whether you practice yoga or just want to eat healthy and be happy, Yoga food is for you!

viaAbout Yoga Food.

Hot and humid: Introducing Bikram yoga – The Independent

25 Apr

It’s not supposed to be competitive, but fans hope for Olympic glory. Matthew Bell reports from the national championships

Flamingos may find it relaxing, but for most of us, standing on one leg isn’t much of a tonic. Unless, that is, you’re a follower of Bikram yoga, in which case it’s the first step to fitness, flexibility and finding inner peace.

That was the message at yesterday’s National Yoga Asana Championships, held in the carpeted fug of a central London hotel. Now in its 10th year, the annual competition drew 26 female and nine male entrants, and, for the first time, a youth division, all battling it out to be crowned Britain’s bendiest yoga bunny.

Normally considered a form of relaxation, yoga as competition may seem like a contradiction in terms. But as with diving or gymnastics, there’s more than one way to flail a limb. In Bikram yoga, named after its creator, Bikram Choudhury, the temperature is cranked up to 30C, the idea being that a hot and humid environment improves joint relaxation. For the competition, each entrant is allowed three minutes in which to strike seven postures, of which five are mandatory, and two are chosen by the individual.

Obviously, the first requirement is to be able to contort yourself into position. So, how hard is it? Just before she goes on stage, Bridgett Ann Goddard takes me through a few moves. “Legs apart, arms out, lean, and head up!” There’s a lot to take in, but suddenly we’re doing “the triangle”. “And, touch your toes!” It’s tempting to topple over, except that dozens of Lycra-clad men and women are cheering me on. “Whoop! Way to go!” I hear through an armpit. It may be competitive, but this is a very friendly sport.

Once you’ve mastered the triangle – what then? “Judges award points for grace, style, accuracy, precision, strength – there’s a whole rubric they’re following,” explains Lorraine Bell, one of the organisers. The competition takes place in front of an X Factor-style panel of judges and an audience of 400 guests, each paying £15.

Competitive yoga is growing in popularity, and Ms Bell hopes it could one day become an Olympic sport. Why? “Yoga is very popular,” she says. “More so than curling. Why is curling an Olympic sport? There are more people who have a knowledge and understanding of yoga, who make it part of their lives, every week, every day. I think it would be nice for them to see another place for it to go. Not everyone is competitive and certainly lots of types of yoga are not, but there will be some people who will want to compete. This is just another avenue.”

An astonishing number of competitors discovered yoga because of health problems. Ky Ha, 32, is one. A former yoga world champion, he took up yoga 10 years ago, after suffering knee pain. “I was doing a lot of running, and I’d been in a lot of car accidents,” he says. “The running was really hard on my joints. A friend said practising yoga would really help me out, and it did.”

Most moving is the story of Ayesha Nauth, 37, who suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Last year, she came third. “From the age of 22, I was quite debilitated,” she says. “I was at home being looked after by my mum because I couldn’t do anything at all. I got a bit better through taking medication, and started working in the City, but it was really stressful, and the stress was inflaming it even more. A friend of mine recommended Bikram because the heat and the humidity would help my joints. After a few sessions, I noticed a big difference. Now, when I stop practising my joints really seize up. I can’t even turn the handle of a door.”

But why do it competitively? “My doctor told me I would be in a wheelchair by the end of my twenties. Since doing Bikram, I don’t even use a walking stick any more. So my teacher said I should do it to inspire others, and to show you don’t have to go into hospital all the time. It has completely changed my life.”

It’s certainly not for everyone, and the chances of it becoming an Olympic sport are, everyone admits, pretty slight. But maybe the flamingos are on to something.

viaHot and humid: Introducing Bikram yoga – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent.

Yoga competitors display inner stillness

7 Apr
Rosalie Abbey, holding flowers, an 18-year-old environment student at McGill University, receives congratulations from the participants after winning the gold medal at the Quebec Hatha Yoga championships in the women's category at Mount Royal United Church on Saturday.Photograph by: Marie-France Coallier , The Gazette

Rosalie Abbey, holding flowers, an 18-year-old environment student at McGill University, receives congratulations from the participants after winning the gold medal at the Quebec Hatha Yoga championships in the women’s category at Mount Royal United Church on Saturday.
Photograph by: Marie-France Coallier , The Gazette

MONTREAL — You could have heard a pin drop at the first annual Quebec Hatha Yoga championships in Town of Mount Royal on Saturday — not because the church hall was empty, but out of deference to the 13 competitors.

They had three minutes apiece to impress the judges by flexing, contorting and immobilizing their bodies in ways unimaginable and, occasionally, a bit frightening to people who don’t own a yoga mat.

And the more than 100 spectators helped them find their inner stillness with respectful silence.

Mike D’Abate, a 32-year-old teacher from LaSalle, and Rosalie Abbey, an 18-year-old environment student at McGill University, emerged as the first provincial Hatha Yoga champions, and will represent Quebec at the national championships in Vancouver at the end of the month.

You had to like D’Abate’s chances of capturing the men’s division Saturday.

He was the only entrant.

But Judge Brad Cowell of Vancouver said D’Abate did a lot more than win by default.

“He scored very well. He has a very good shot for the Canadian championship,” Cowell said.

D’Abate said he started doing yoga a couple of years ago at the urging of a female friend who is now a yoga instructor.

It didn’t bother him to be one of the few men doing it, he said. “I’m used to it. In the elementary schools where I teach, there are usually no more than one or two men.”

D’Abate, a former bodybuilder who performed his routine Saturday clad only in shorts, said he does yoga “six or seven times” a week, for an hour or two at a stretch.

“It’s helped me a lot, body and mind. I like learning, and with yoga, I’m always learning. That’s one of the things I tell my students; don’t be afraid to try something new. But I’m glad I wasn’t competing against the women today. They’re much better than I am.”

Abbey, the female champion, only started Bikram yoga a year ago.

“It helps everything. I feel so much more calm and strong outside the classroom,” she said.

Among the other competitors was Isabelle Boileau, 32, who gave birth to a son less than seven months ago.

She practised yoga until two days before the birth and was back at the studio four days later.

“Yoga for me is a way of life. I’ve practised for eight years, and always will,” she said.

Cowell noted that yoga, which will become an Olympic sport in 2020, is one of the few that competitors take up in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

While flexibility is what spectators tend to notice most, stillness, posture and the mind-and-body connection also are key considerations in judged competitions, he said.

pdelean@montrealgazette.com

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

viaYoga competitors display inner stillness.

What Is A Yogi?

30 Mar
From DoYouYoga.com

From DoYouYoga.com

What does a yogi look like? How does a yogi act? What are the rules and commandments of “fitting in” with the yoga crowd?

Are yogis the people with perfectly toned yoga bodies wearing Lululemon, adorned in mala beads and “om” tattoos? Are they compassionate, vegetarian saints, shopping at Whole Foods with a cart full of kale and quinoa (never any cookies or booze)?

What Defines A Yogi?

I am someone that strongly dislikes being defined or being forced to conform. I am a “rebel”. I want nothing more than to be free, to be myself, to be authentic.

I was first introduced to yoga around age nine. Instead of going to church on Sundays, I would practice yoga, read from the Bhagavad Gita and chant sanskrit mantras with my mother. Soon I realized that was odd and different from everyone else, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Somehow drawn back to yoga in my late teens, I’ve been practicing consistently ever since. There have been times when I have wanted to give up and get out of this “yoga thing”. But I am still here, still practicing, still dedicated – now more than ever. This is my path. This is who I am.

What Does A Yogi Do?

I wear mala beads and use them to meditate. I am named after Hanuman’s mother and I am a vegetarian. I am kind, compassionate and selfish at times. I am moody and messy. I suffer, I laugh, I get fearful and ashamed. I like to look good and feel good. I love kombucha. Malbec and Stella Artois. I rock yoga pants, Ganesh t-shirts, short dresses and heels. Depending on the day, I practice yoga in silence, listening to Rihanna or jamming to Krishna Das. I like to chant and I like to party. I am spiritual, I am human.

I love yoga. Yoga can’t really be pinned down and defined, and neither can I.

So what’s a yogi to do when that concept or idea starts to become another stereotype or image to fit into?

Yoga is living, breathing and ever-changing. There are no rules. There are no exclusions. There is no conformity. You don’t have to look like anything in particular. You don’t have to act a certain way. Your Warrior II doesn’t have to look perfectly like mine. You are free to be who you are. Yoga is all accepting, all encompassing, all unifying.

Vegetarians drinking green juice, all their chakras aligned, standing on their hands in yoga pants have become an image of what yogis are. It is no more than an image and concept in people’s minds. Those things don’t define anyone.

Those practicing yoga for spiritual, mental and emotional reasons are no better or worse than those practicing for chaturanga arms, a yoga booty and six pack abs. Eventually, people practicing for the purpose of an ass-kicking workout will inevitably go deeper. Yoga does the work. It does the magic.

Yoga is about you, the practitioner. Whoever you are. It’s about knowing your true self and evolving to your fullest potential. It’s about awareness. It is about connection of all the fragmented parts of yourself, connection between yourself and others, connection of mind and body.

15 Things That Make Me A Yogi

There are no rules or definitions, but I do know some things that undoubtedly make me a yogi.

I practice… and practice more. It is my space, my freedom, my devotion and inspiration.

I am aware. I am aware of all parts of myself, all the layers. I am aware of the thoughts, emotions, aches, pains, judgements and everything in between. I am aware of the space that holds all of that.

I am centered and grounded.

I am present. I am with my breath. I am at home in my body.

I know myself, love myself and accept myself. And there are plenty of times when I don’t. But I know how to come out of self-judgement and self-loathing.

I go with the flow. I ride the waves of life and find the ease.

I have an ego. I remind myself that I am not my ego.

I see the light in everyone. I appreciate everyone as they are. I love.

I breathe deep and live from my heart.

I am flexible and supple in body and mind.

I am a student of life. I am always learning and evolving.

I don’t follow rules. I am who I am. I will never fit into any category, definition, image or concept.

I am authentic and honest. On and off my mat.

I am not all these things, all the time. But the awareness remains no matter what comes and goes on the surface. I know how to return to my center, to my most true and pure self, unified and whole.

What makes YOU a yogi?

viaWhat Is A Yogi?.

Yoga Sequence For Runners | Poster

22 Mar

In order to punch up steep hills, endure long runs, and to do so with optimum speed, strong legs are essential for runners. Yoga is the perfect complement to any running routine, and this dynamic 10-posture yoga sequence is tailor-made for building stronger legs. Move through each pose, holding for five breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

viaYoga Sequence For Runners | Poster.

Top 10 benefits of yoga – Times Of India

9 Mar

Yoga is much more than simply twisting your body in impossible poses. It is a meeting of mind and body that together give you the health benefits of mindful exercise.

With tremendous positive effects such as normalisation of blood pressure, reducing stress, weight loss and cholesterol control, yoga has become a global favourite form of exercise. Today, Ms. Sunita Pathania – Sr. Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator, Healthy Living Diet Clinic, Mumbai, presents the top 10 benefits of yoga…

Benefits of Yoga # 1: Yoga for pregnancy

If you are pregnant, and want to stay fit, then you should practice yoga daily. Practicing yoga during pregnancy makes you strong overall. Regular practice of yoga helps ease tiredness, releases tension, increases flexibility by stretching of the muscles, offers internal benefits like good circulation, digestion, respiration and regulation of the nervous system. Besides, it also helps in relieving pregnancy ailments like insomnia, lower back pain, leg-cramping and digestive upsets. But, to avoid complications, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before practicing yoga.

Benefits of Yoga # 2: Mental peace

Yoga’s overall emphasis on breathing and other balancing asanas help in harmonising both the sides of the brain and restores balance. This also makes us utilize both the sides of our brain and further enhances the internal communication, which we often fail to use during our daily tasks. By practicing yoga you can find a state of balance between your thinking brain and creative brain.

Benefits of Yoga # 3: Boosts overall health

Good health is not a mere absence of disease, in fact it is more of a balance between your mind and emotions as well. Practicing yoga, helps in achieving total fitness, it helps you to stay away from various diseases and makes you dynamic, joyful and enthusiastic.

Benefits of Yoga # 4: Good circulation

With the combination of various yoga poses and breathing techniques, yoga also aides in proper blood circulation in your body. Due to proper blood circulation in the body, oxygen and other nutrients are better transported in the body which results in healthy organs and glowing skin.

Benefits of Yoga # 5: Yoga for flat stomach

Before reading about how yoga helps with a flat stomach, you must know that no ‘single’ exercise can help you get a flat stomach. If anyone promises you a flat stomach with a low-tempo, zero core work, exercise that doesn’t help you lose excess fat from all over the body, then you need to consult another expert.

In yoga, various asanas like Naukasana, Ushtrasana and basic crunches will help you tone an already flat stomach, if practiced daily. Practicing yoga and following a proper diet will help tone down your stomach.

Benefits of Yoga # 6: Healthy Heart

Various asanas wherein you hold your breath for a short time help improve the fitness of your heart and arteries. Yoga helps in proper blood circulation, which prevents blood clogging and hence gives you a healthy heart.

Benefits of Yoga # 7: Prevents pains and aches

As yoga improves flexibility and strength it also helps in preventing back pains and joint pains. Sunita says – people who have a desk job and drive for a long time should practice yoga daily, as it helps to relieve the spinal compression and spinal tightness. Besides, it also helps in improving your structure which further helps in preventing various pains caused due to bad posture.

Benefits of Yoga # 8: Better breathing

Due to various deep and slow breathing techniques, which yoga involves, it improves the capacity of your lungs and abdominal cavity. This further enhances your daily performance and endurance training. The deep breathing also stimulates relaxation and helps you recover from physical and mental stress.

Benefits of Yoga # 9: Improves balance

With poor posture, we lose the ability to balance as we age. This is due to different aspects of sedentary living that involves little to no core engagement on a daily basis. This results in falls, fractures, poor back health, and many other issues. Yoga can help you regain this lost balance and core control. Yoga improves your sense of balance by fine tuning your strength and flexibility. This improvement also aids in making your brain work fast and makes you more able to control your impulses.

Benefits of Yoga # 10: Stress reduction

Yoga helps in relieving stress. When you practice yoga after a hectic schedule, you will notice that all your stresses will melt down. Of course, this does not mean that yoga is the only form of exercise that alleviates stress. Any exercise, when practised dilligently with focus and correct form and breathing technique, will help you relieve stress.

viaTop 10 benefits of yoga – Times Of India.

Inhaling…Exhaling

4 Mar

inhale

Deep breathing, where you fill your belly and expand your diaphragm downwards, is one of the most powerful exercise you can do to activate your lymph system which helps to detoxify your body. Practice 10 deep slow breaths counting 4 seconds in, 8 seconds hold and 8 seconds out. Up to 70% of our body’s waste products are eliminated via our lungs and the rest through the urine, skin and feces. Breathe long slow and deep in a mindful state as often as possible.

David Magone: 6 Heart-Healthy Yoga Postures

1 Mar

Remember the sit-and-reach test from high school? Your results may have been more important than you thought. A study conducted at the University of North Texas suggests that yoga or other stretching disciplines may have a positive impact on overall heart health and recommends that stretching should be “integrated as a new recommendation into the known cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise.”

Kinesiologist and yoga blogger Kreg Weiss recently explored this issue (see full article), citing two studies that bucked the trending opinion that yoga does not have cardiovascular benefits. The first study, conducted by K. Yamamoto, et al., found that middle-aged and older adults with limited flexibility were more likely to suffer from age-related arterial stiffening than others of the same age group with greater flexibility. The second showed that arterial stiffness can be reduced by stretching alone — even if you don’t engage in additional strength training or traditional cardio activities.

These findings have important implications for your health, because arterial stiffness can increase the likelihood of complications, including high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

While these studies do suggest that stretching and yoga can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health, it should be mentioned that you shouldn’t give up aerobic training altogether. The Center for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic training per week for overall heart heath.

Can’t touch your toes anymore? Not to worry. Practice this short cycle of postures three times per week to improve the results of the sit and reach test.

Hold each posture for a minimum of 60 seconds each. Practice variations 1-4 until you can grab your toes. Afterward, gradually work deeper into the forward fold by gradually adding variations 5-6 to your practice.

If you have herniated disks or other back problems, make sure to consult with a yoga teacher before beginning these exercises.

viaDavid Magone: 6 Heart-Healthy Yoga Postures.

Twisting and detoxification // Torsion et détoxication

19 Feb
Twisting and detoxification

Twisting and detoxification

Traduction en français : Cette posture crée une torsion des organes situés dans la cavité abdominale. Ceci aide à nettoyer le foie et les autres organes avoisinants, en dirigeant le sang et le liquide lymphatique dans les vaisseaux plus larges du système cardio-vasculaire et en expulsant les toxines.
Le cœur principal de ce mouvement sont les muscles abdominaux en action de synergie avec le sternocleidomastoide (muscle du sternum),le latissimus dorsi (dos) et le tricep (bras) d’un coté, en combinaison avec le bicep (bras) et l’esquio-jambier (arrière de la cuisse) de l’autre coté pour accentuer la torsion.

From Bikram Yoga Boucherville

Yoga mat folds into the size of a folded newspaper | CTV News

18 Feb
The YogoMat folds into roughly the size of a folded newspaper. (Yogomat)

The YogoMat folds into roughly the size of a folded newspaper. (Yogomat)

If toting around a yoga mat, complete with its own dedicated yoga mat bag, is a hassle, a lightweight new option might make your commuter life a bit easier.

YogaSports new YogoMat folds into roughly the size of a folded newspaper — making it easy to slip into your purse or backpack — but its a full-size mat when unfolded.

The company just launched a Kickstarter campaign, where a $US40 pledge will get one in your hands by June 2013 add $10 for shipping outside the US. The mat is expected to retail at $65.

The mats come in two colors, gray and red, and are made from sustainably harvested natural rubber and claim to be 100 percent recyclable.

Yogis who meditate after their practice can also check out the YoFoMat, which folds up into a thick, comfortable seat for seeking enlightenment.

viaYoga mat folds into the size of a folded newspaper | CTV News.

Introducing the YogoMat: Take Yoga Anywhere (Kickstarter) from YogoSport on Vimeo.

Quote

“Have only love…

14 Feb

“Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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“Dans votre coeur, portez seulement de l’amour pour les autres. Plus vous verrez du bon en eux, plus vous imprègnerez le bon en vous-même…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Yoga classes to pop up around Calgary

11 Feb
Naaz Ali

Founder of Pop Up Yoga Calgary Naaz Ali strikes a pose in downtown Calgary.
-Metro/Katie Turner-

From the studio to the streets. That’s the concept behind Pop Up Yoga — a newly developed concept that’s striking a pose in Calgary.

Founder of Pop Up Yoga Calgary, Naaz Ali, said she wanted to introduce a new way of practicing yoga, while building a sense of community.

“Pop Up Yoga is basically an initiative to bring yoga into community spaces,” she said. “We’re looking at bringing yoga events into art galleries, into community centres, farmers’ markets, outdoor events, all those kinds of things.”

Classes will be more accessible not only in price, at a rate of $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, but in location as well, according to Ali.

After teaching yoga in studios for nearly three years, she said she’s noticed the classes seemed limited to a certain group of people.

“We’re missing out on the people who can’t necessarily afford studio space,” she said. “We’re missing out on people who maybe enjoy yoga but are intimidated by a studio setting. This project kind of bridges the gap.”

Ali is in the process of setting up her first Pop Up Yoga class and encourages those interested to check back to popupyogacalgary.com for updates.

viaYoga classes to pop up around Calgary | Metro.

Yoga for skiers and snowboarders

13 Jan

Some simple moves will mean you’ll be stronger on the slopes this winter.

Photo: Sean Molin Photography/Flickr

Unless you are lucky to live within an hour of the slopes (or get a lot of time off in the winter season), skiing and snowboarding can be tough on the body — not because they are inherently dangerous (unless you take a spill, of course), but because most of us don’t do them often enough to build up the specific strength and flexibility we need for a day out on the snow. It’s tough to build up those muscles when you only go out five or six days each season; ideally we could start the winter riding or skiing a couple hours a few times a week, building up to a full day on the slopes. But most of the time, we get our time at the ski resort in small chunks.

Not only do I not want to hurt myself when I go riding, there are few things as frustrating as your thigh and calf muscles giving up after a few hours when you have the rest of the day to use your lift ticket — and your heart and mind want to keep going. When you push yourself once your legs start shaking, that’s when accidents and injuries occur, so being in decent shape will help avoid some of that (I like to vary leg-centric exercises like spinning, running and using the elliptical with lunges and jump-roping to build strong legs and core). But yoga strengthening exercises that target specific areas can really target those muscles you use the most while riding and skiing.

While overall and flexibility will always benefit a rider or skiier, I’m always sure to focus on legs, spine and core muscles so I can go all day long. Indeed, in this excellent piece on Yoga Journal for skiers, writer and yogi Baron Baptiste likens the proper skiing position to yoga poses.

Feet should be shoulder-width apart, as if in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), to create a stable base for the body.

Knees should be in line with the toes, as in Utkatasana (Chair Pose).

Hips should be tipped slightly forward. This is a somewhat unnatural position for most people; however, ski boots help encourage this shape in the lower body.

This posture helps you gain control. Boris likens it to walking down a roof: “If your hips are back, then your feet will come out from under you,” she says.

Shoulders should be dropped, or relaxed, as in Tadasana.

Torso should be still. Referred to as a “quiet upper body” in skiing, having a “still” torso is akin to riding a bicycle with the lower body doing most of the work while  the upper body provides stability.

Burton Girls has a great yoga routine specifically for snowboarders, which incorporates two of my favorite yoga moves for legs: Downward Dog and Chair Pose, both of which stretch and strengthen thighs and calves.

Here’s an example of how simple these moves can be, even if you’ve never done yoga before:

Chair Pose

Start: In Mountain Pose

Action:

• Take a deep breath through the nose and exhale as you sit back, bend your knees and drop the tailbone back. Lift your chest and reach your arms forward and up alongside ears.

• Press into the feet, extend through the hips and knees, then rise back up to Mountain Pose.

• Repeat 10–15 times. On the last chair, remain “seated” for at least six deep breaths.

Benefits: Keeps the ankles, hips and shoulders in alignment with the knees over the toes, which, when snowboarding, is the correct centered and balanced position. Engages core muscles in your abdomen and spine.

If you have a tough time motivating yourself to do a routine on your own, taking a yoga class at a ski mountain (I recently enjoyed one at the West Branch Yoga Center in Stowe, Vt.) and asking the teacher there about specific yoga moves for your style of riding (backcountry, jumps, woods) can be beneficial as well. You can try asking around at your local yoga center too; there’s likely at least one teacher who also likes to hit the slopes and can give you extra tips. Or check out some of the online videos that target poses for snow-junkies.

In this video, yoga teacher Sarah Kline is joined by Olympic skiracer Resi Stiegler and professional snowboarder Rob Kingwill, in a pre-riding or skiing warmup.


This 20-minute yoga practice will build stregth and flexibility specifically for snowboarders and skiers.

viaYoga for skiers and snowboarders | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

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Hidden Hotel’s yoga wall

10 Jan
Hidden Hotel in Paris

Hidden Hotel in Paris

Parisian hotel Hidden offers guests access to France’s first-ever vertical yoga wall with a private instructor.

With the Arc de Triomphe in view, Paris’ Hidden Hotel offers guests a unique mixture of ecological design and modernity, and it’s inside this four-star hotel that a new concept has been born. The Great Yoga Wall invites health and wellness guests to practice their daily yoga routines in the comfort and security of their private suite, thanks to adjustable yoga bands coupled with a harness that allows advanced yogis to reach new heights, the whole guided by a professional instructor. The ultimate Paris pied à terre for relaxation and centering of the senses.

Hidden Hotel in Paris

Hidden Hotel in Paris

viaHidden Hotel’s yoga wall | Beauty| Vogue English.

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26 Bikram Yoga Poses

15 Dec

Consisting of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, Bikram Yoga positions focuses on 100% of the human body, working from the inside out. The 26 Bikram yoga poses invigorate by stimulating the organs, glands, and nerves; each pose helping to move fresh oxygen through the body. Continued practice of the Bikram poses strengthens, heals, and balances the human body while preventing future illness and injury. Best of all, this beginning series is suitable for yogis of any shape and size, at any age. “Within you and nearly every human being lie hidden forces and latent power.  It is for you to bring out this latent power and become your real self and then you will compel success on any path you take interest in.” -Bishnu Charan Ghosh

Standing deep breathing: Pranayama

Standing deep breathing: Pranayama

Half Moon Pose :

Half Moon Pose : Ardha Chandrasana (Sanskrit)

Hands To Feet: Pada Hasthasana

Hands To Feet: Pada Hasthasana

Awkward Pose : utkatasana

Awkward Pose: Utkatasana

Eagle Pose: Garurasana

Eagle Pose: Garurasana

Standing Head to Knee Pose: Dandayamana-Janushirasana

Standing Head to Knee Pose: Dandayamana-Janushirasana

Standing Bow Pose: Dandayamana-Dhanurasana

Standing Bow Pose: Dandayamana-Dhanurasana

Balancing Stick Pose: Tuladandasana

Balancing Stick Pose: Tuladandasana

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana

Triangle Pose: Trikanasana

Triangle Pose: Trikanasana

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose: Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana

Tree Pose: Tadasana

Tree Pose: Tadasana

Toe Stand: Padangustasana

Toe Stand: Padangustasana

Corpse Pose: Savasana

Corpse Pose: Savasana

Wind Removing Pose: Pavanamuktasana

Wind Removing Pose: Pavanamuktasana

Sit-Up

Sit-Up

Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose: Bhujangasana

Locust Pose

Locust Pose: Salabhasana

Full Locust

Full Locust: Poorna salabhasana

Floor Bow Pose

Floor Bow Pose: Dhanurasana

Fixed Firm Pose

Fixed Firm Pose: Supta-Vajrasana

Half Tortoise Pose

Half Tortoise Pose: Ardha-Kurmasana

Camel Pose

Camel Pose: Ustrasana

Rabbit Pose

Rabbit Pose: Sasangasana

Head to Knee Pose

Head to Knee Pose: Janushirasana

Stretching Pose

Stretching Pose: Paschimottanasana

Spine Twisting Pose

Spine Twisting Pose: Ardha-Matsyendrasana

Blowing In Firm

Blowing In Firm: Kapalbhati-In-Vajrasana

via26 Bikram Yoga Poses |Bikram Yoga Vancouver.

RELATED:
Kristin McGee: Yoga Poses for a Winter Glow
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12 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

1 Dec
Yoga Retreat in Bali

Yoga Retreat in Bali

  1. Spend time in nature.
  2. Experience a new perspective.
  3. Find space.
  4. Make friends.
  5. Slow down.
  6. Reflect.
  7. Meditate.
  8. Take your yoga practice to the next level.
  9. Eat well.
  10. Awake with the sun.
  11. Sleep with the moon.
  12. Remember how sweet life can be.

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Nike Introduces Yoga Shoes For Your Inadequate Lady Feet

27 Nov
Nike Studio Wrap

Nike Studio Wrap

Not happy losing to Lululemon in the yoga pants wars in the ever growing market, Nike is slapping its swoosh on other parts of your anatomy: your feet. Because what we need is to buy more unnecessary yog-accoutrement! Especially on your tootsies, those poor things, they’re all bare and stuff. We can’t have that, because bare feet have limits, you see.

These new Nike Studio Wrap shoe thingies have 3 parts (wrap, ribbon and flat) and promise to solve the “hygiene problem” and those pesky slippery-feet-ruin-your-zen moments. And kiss the embarrassment of a bad pedicure goodbye. No one cares about your toes with these fancy shoes.

And who needs bare feet when you have shoes that feel like bare feet, and are better?

There’s no sweaty or slippery feet, no bunched up socks, and even with a bad pedicure, people won’t be looking at your toes with this sexy silhouette.

A better-than-barefoot experience in a modular footwear system, the Nike Studio Wrap was designed to give women an elevated workout in the studio that takes them back to their daily lives in style.

Sorry, fellas, this shoe is only for the ladies, because only ladies do yoga and need special shoes for them, duh. That’s why they come in pink, too. And sisters, we warn you now, once you wrap ‘em you can’t scrap ‘em.

“It’s going to become a necessity; it’s going to be as essential as the yoga mat is to the girl when she goes into her yoga class. She won’t be able to live without it. She won’t want to,” says Footwear Product Director (Women’s Training), Ann Marie Fallow.

Hear that ToeSox? Thems fightin’ words. Your move yoga apparel makers, who’s next for the yoga hat? Chakra beanie?

It might be our weakness for ballet-like things, but they do have the prettiness factor going for them (until your yoga teacher tells you to take them off). That and the marketing video didn’t even involve underwear, upshots or nakedness. And for $110 of your hard-earned cash these shoes can make you forget what the surface under your feet feels like, coming Spring 2013.

viaNike Introduces Yoga Shoes For Your Inadequate Lady Feet.

Other articles:
And if I put my electronic yoga outfit?
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Kristin McGee: Yoga Poses for a Winter Glow

10 Nov

Winter months can wreak havoc on our skin. The cold temperatures, dry indoor heat and stress of the holidays all can add to inflammation and skin problems. Yoga to the rescue! Yoga gives us a youthful glow and can help restore our skin during this time of year.

Have you ever noticed how your skin just seems to shine after a yoga practice? Sun salutations, forward bends and inversions all help improve circulation and blood flow. Our skin is our largest organ and getting our body moving is one of the best ways to nourish it.

Stress can be one of the leading contributors to skin problems. The deep breathing we use while we practice yoga boosts oxygen in our body and can help relax the nervous system. Regularly practicing yoga can help calm us down, which can help reduce the inflammation and stress that speed up the aging of our skin.

Try this “yoga glow” routine to nourish your skin from within! You can do this short routine before bed or first thing in the morning as part of your skin care routine.

Child's Pose

Child’s Pose – Brings blood flow to the face and calms our mind. Imagine dropping all of the contents of your brain into the mat and say bye bye to stressful thoughts and your to-do list. Take five to eight deep full breaths.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog – Gets the blood pumping throughout our entire body and releases tension in our head, neck, shoulders, lower back and hamstrings. Breathe here for five to eight full breaths.

Standing Straddle Forward Bend

Standing Straddle Forward Bend – Oxygenates the body and allows the weight of the world to fall off our backs and shoulders. Stay here for eight to 10 breaths.

Plow Pose

Plow Pose – Awesome way to relieve tension in the lower back and bring blood flow to the face.

Shoulder Stand

Shoulder Stand – Great for letting the blood flow in reverse and stimulating lymph. Stagnant lymph (many of us deal with stagnation during the winter months) can lead to all kinds of skin issues, including wrinkles and acne. Stay here for up to 3-5 minutes.

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose – If you have time, lie still for a few minutes and let your entire body rest to fully reduce all stress and tension in the body. Focus on relaxing the skin on the face, the jaw, the brow and across your collar bones and decolletage.

viaKristin McGee: Yoga Poses for a Winter Glow.

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Renee Sills | Yoga | BMAC Studio » BMACBLOG
Joseph Encinia – Demonstration at 2012 USA Yoga Asana Championship
 

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Yoga Transforming Lives | URBAN YOGIS

30 Oct

 

URBAN YOGIS is a unique documentary series featuring stories on the transformative power of yoga and meditation.* Beautifully shot, inspiring, and heartfelt – the series delves into the lives of cancer survivors, inner-city youth dealing with violence in their communities, recovering addicts, artists, youth in detention facilities, and more. Comedian Russell Brand, Grammy-nominated musician Moby, “yogi” businessman Russell Simmons, and author/doctor Deepak Chopra also share their stories and insights. Renowned yoga teacher Eddie Stern serves as our host and guide to the stories of these urban yogis.

Related :
YOGAWOMAN : Never underestimate the power of inner peace.
Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey – Trailer
Bikram Yoga: 30 Day Challenge
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Yogic Tips for a Soulful Halloween

28 Oct

 What are you doing this Halloween? What are you dressing up as? A witch? A hero?  A zombie?  Dressing up is a great way to take a break from our “ordinary” lives and have a little fun.  Right?  Or are our lives really that ordinary?  If you think your life is boring or ordinary you have to ask yourself the question, “Am I really living?”.  It’s so easy today to get wrapped up in the fast-paced world around us and forget to be truly present in the moment.  Look at this holiday for example – are you hurriedly pulling together an outfit in between work, errands and sleep?  When’s the last time you made yourself a nice hot mug of apple cider and sat around a fire enjoying the beauty that fall gives us?

As we plan to celebrate this crazy fun holiday it’s also a great time to reflect on our yoga journey and while we plan what we’ll be for a day or night, think about who we are becoming as a person, a student, and an enlightened soul.  We all have a story, a journey through yoga and it’s taken us to some pretty great places; places where you realize how to stop beating yourself up and really experience some self-love, places where you realize that we take for granted all of the gifts that we really have in our life because for some reason or another we are not happy.  Where has yoga taken you?  Maybe as you plan your costume for this years’ party, draft it around something meaningful.  I’m not saying make Halloween boring.  Just take one quality you find in yourself and expand upon it – get creative.  For example, yoga has taught me that I’m more of a free spirit than I give myself credit for.  So for my costume this year, I’m dressing up as a gypsy–one of the ultimate embodiments of a free spirit.  Are you creative?  Are you passionate? What makes you, you?

This way when someone asks you what you are for Halloween, or why you chose that costume you have a great reason.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to think about themselves, and what qualities they might be keeping locked away.  Yoga gives us so much and affords us so many opportunities to give to others….

viaYogic Tips for a Soulful Halloween Learn About Yoga About Yoga.

Practicing Yoga, Family Style

27 Oct
The Killicks posing near the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta. From left, Sami, 15; Tobi, 13; Gil, 17; Von, 21; Glenna (mother); Tyler (father).

The Killicks posing near the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta. From left, Sami, 15; Tobi, 13; Gil, 17; Von, 21; Glenna (mother); Tyler (father).

Dropping in on the Killick family, 45 minutes outside Edmonton, Alberta, feels like dropping into a Wes Anderson movie about Canadian rustics. Glenna and Tyler Killick and their four children — Von, 21; Gil, 17; Sami, 15; Tobi, 13 — live off a dirt road in a farmhouse they built themselves. A 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 sits out front, near the cow trough where they all bathed straight through Canadian winters, before they installed indoor plumbing in 2005. Out back are raspberry bushes that won’t fruit, chickens that run away and corn that’s starting to bolt. “We’re terrible farmers!” Glenna says.

For a while, the kids, who are home-schooled, got their exercise in the home-schoolers’ basketball league, but they didn’t like it much. As Sami, the lone girl, says, “Half the court are people scared of the ball, and the other half are kids whose dad plays with them three hours a day.” Then three years ago, Tyler, a plumber, threw out his back on a job, and his client gave him a 10-day pass to a Bikram yoga studio in West Edmonton. Tyler and Glenna practiced for a month and loved it. Then they took their kids. Attending four or five classes a week, the children learned quickly. Tobi was 9 at the time, too young for the 104-degree yoga room, so he sat in the lobby with his siblings while his parents took a class, then with his parents when his siblings took class. Eventually he joined in.

After about a year, a teacher invited the Killick children to train for a yoga competition in Alberta. Yogis have mixed feeling about the discipline being a competitive sport, and the Killicks rarely seek official validation. As Glenna puts it, “We are not institution-style people.” But they prepared, did well in Alberta and in June flew to Los Angeles for the International Yoga Asana Championship. Gil, Sami and Tobi placed in their divisions. (Only five boys and eight girls entered the competition.) Gil lost points when he fell out of Peacock Pose a second too soon. “It’s a very hero-to-zero scenario,” Tyler says.

One rainy day recently, the Killicks drove from the prairie to the studio. Inside, Sami, the family cook (the older boys are trained as plumbers), placed a tin filled with vegan pumpkin muffins in the kitchen to be shared after class. Then she stripped down to a sports bra and hot pants and joined her family in the furnacelike yoga room for the 90-minute class. Gil likes the strength poses; his siblings grouse, “He was born with a six-pack!” Sami, according to her brothers, is a “legalist”; she has to do every posture exactly right. When Sami did Half Moon Pose, pressing her hands together overhead and leaning to one side, the bottom of her rib cage touched the top of her pelvic bone.

Back at home, the kids fanned out in the living room and played music — Sami and Von on guitars, Gil on ukulele, Tobi on a Peruvian box drum. Like an updated Partridge Family, they sang delightful indie-rock covers of “Five Years Time,” by Noah and the Whale, and “Hey Ho,” by the Lumineers. Along with being good at singing and yoga, the Killicks are also excellent whistlers. Von, who last year declared he was moving out of the house but then decided to stay, explained, “We have a lot of time to practice in the winter.”

Shortly after the sun set, the Killicks went down to the basement and, on black interlocking mats near a wall of mirrors, worked more advanced yoga poses. Von pressed into a handstand and then folded his legs in lotus. Sami extended one foot behind her and up over her head, until her ankle rested under her chin. Tobi worked on Bowlegged Peacock, balancing his body in a horizontal plank atop his elbows with his knees bent all the way back. The siblings like the intimacy of family yoga. “The facade is gone,” Von says. “Everybody is stripped down to the basics. There’s no real hiding.”

viaPracticing Yoga, Family Style – NYTimes.com.

What is Joga and why become a Joga instructor?

21 Oct
Jana Webb, Founder & Creator of JOGA

Jana Webb, Founder & Creator of JOGA

Joga is an athletic based style of yoga that incorporates a unique blend of postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation tools to find balance in strength and flexibility, improve breath control/recovery and maintain a calm mind in sport and in life.

It focuses on the mechanics and movements of a sport and designs a yoga program specifically to enhance athletic performance for that activity. The sessions will leave you feeling stronger, more flexible and re-energized as well as provide you with all the other physiological and psychological benefits of yoga.

Athletes and active individuals are always looking for ways to become more competitive in their sports and stay injury free – Joga is growing rapidly to respond to this exciting niche. Athletes are often both results based and achievement oriented people, so they want to feel and see results while also understanding the reason behind what they are doing.

The Joga sequence is designed in a way to follow the pattern of a fitness regime but still adhere to the sequencing of the traditional yoga session. Each movement has a specific que and a physical or mental benefit associated with it. Joga takes into consideration what athletes require in a training program, structure, challenge and results.

The Joga Series involves a combination of dynamic and static stretches as opposed to traditional long holds. The movements within the postures are designed to improve athletic ability and agility as well as coordination with breath pattern. The movements are intended to build muscle memory, a balance of joint stability/mobility and increased range of motion, all pertinent to injury prevention. The breathing and relaxation techniques are more traditional, however explained in a way that resonates with the athletic mind and highlights the benefits most pertinent to athletes.

One technique that is highlighted in the teacher training program is the integration of core/breath function and how the two are interdependent on each other and pertinent for athletes in terms of agility/power and injury prevention.

Example: While in the first downward facing dog of the Segment One, the focus is put on lifting the pelvic floor wall (PC –pubococcygeus muscles) at the top of the inhale breath and engage the transverse abdominal wall at the bottom of the exhale. These intrinsic muscle movements are explained in a static hold so the practitioner can begin to feel these subtle core movements without having to coordinate any kind of movement. While the practioner is holding this first downward facing dog, we start to introduce the theory of muscle memory and how to weave this practice of core/breath integration into the rest of the series: so moving forward every breath/movement has a core reaction. In theory, the practioner is able to take this practice, which eventually becomes innate and use the application for movement in sport.

A second technique that is infiltrated into the Joga Program is how to use the breath as a tool for relaxation during movement to reduce the chance of injury in sport. Throughout the series, while the body is being challenged physically, there are specific sound ques to relax the Jaw to ensure that the spine and the muscles surrounding the joints are relaxed. In addition to this – belly breathing is promoted in specific areas of the series, to elicit relaxation. The para-sympathetic nerves connect at the bottom of the abdominal wall and through specific nerve patterns, connect to the right brain –which is responsible for the ‘relaxation response’. Most non-impact injuries are enhanced when there is tension surrounding the joints and muscles. When the body is tense, the muscles become tense and the bones clench together which creates more opportunity for injury.

As a certified Joga teacher you will become a part of the Joga team of instructors that are working with professional and amateur athletes as well as active individuals across all sports and in diverse venues. Working with the Joga team will present new opportunities for teaching and specialization while also connecting you to the teams, athletes and individuals wanting to practice Joga. Joga is a special style that requires instructors that are already skilled in yoga practices requiring 200hr Certification, which is essential foundation to be able to focus on understanding the unique Joga ques and goals of the movement. They teach the methodologies and movements that are specific to this unique style of yoga.

Certified Joga teachers are passionate about the Joga philosophy and are excited to represent Joga with the same integrity and enthusiasm that it was created. Joga Ambassadors are motivated, inspirational and exude a sense of health and well-being.

Organizations such as the Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts and the Olympic Men’s Beach Volleyball team have incorporated the Joga program into their training and Jana also works with NHL and OHL players during off-season.

viaWhat is Joga and why become a Joga instructor? » YYoga.

Q: My lower back started hurting after yoga class last night. Should I take a few days off or work through it?

13 Oct

We’re taking questions from students! If you have a question about Bikram Yoga that you’d like us to answer, just leave a comment below this post or on our Facebook Page. You can even email us or ask your question on Twitter!

Q: My lower back started hurting after yoga class last night. Should I take a few days off or work through it?

A: It’s quite common for beginners to experience a sore back as a result of all the bending we do in Bikram Yoga. Your body is asking for a day or two off. In the meantime, you can try icing the area two to three times a day, applying Traumeel – a natural medicine that’s used to aid recovery from sprains, strains, bruises, nerve pain, swelling and post-surgical pain – several times daily and soaking in a hot bath with a cup of Epsom Salt. You may also want to increase your dosage of an antioxidant like Vitamin C, which is excellent for recovery when you work out hard. When you’re ready to return to the hot room, focus on lifting more in the chest to prevent hinging in your low and middle back. Decrease your depth and bend gently.

Remember: this is a pretty intense physical practice so you really need to pamper yourself in-between classes. It should be part of your regime.

viaQ: My lower back started hurting after yoga class last night. Should I take a few days off or work through it?.

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8 hours after quitting smoking, this is what happens to your body

30 Sep

Smoking_health_benefits_female

Smoking_health_benefits_male

Yoga on the Go: Yoga Tips for the Car

27 Sep
Yoga in the car

By FitSugar

Release a little road rage and relax on the road

It’s hard to learn to love your commute. Whether you’re sitting in the car for an hour or just a few minutes, that time always feels like it could be to put to better use. But after taking a class with La Jolla-based yoga teacher Jeannie Carlstead at a local Ford Go Further event, I’m wishing that driving was a bigger part of my daily routine.

Jeannie dreams of drivers “reclaiming their time in the car and making it more meaningful.” She offered a few insightful tips that may have you feeling a little more Zen, regardless of your circumstances while driving.

Get a grip: You may not even realize how much extra energy goes into holding the steering wheel. Clenching tightly can harm the wrists and perpetuate a sense of stress. Doing something as simple as shaking out the hands and wrists for a minute or two can provide relief. Also, clenching a tight fist and letting it go a few times helps relax the arms. Just be sure to keep one hand on the wheel at all times!

Connect with your core: Whether you’re walking down the street or sitting in a car, drawing strength from your core is integral to your body’s well-being. Jeannie asked, “If we’re sitting in a car, what is holding our body upright? Our core being. We’ve got to be aware of that and hold ourselves up with a strong core, while consciously relaxing the upper part of the body.”

Keep good posture: Jeannie drove home the importance of proper posture throughout class: “Having good posture is a type of body language we have with ourselves. It’s holding ourselves in a new way that expresses a confidence, a calm, a centeredness.” If you’re feeling uncomfortable in the car, then take a big breath, lift your heart, and roll your shoulder blades back and down. If your head is past your chest, then tuck your chin and get your spine back into alignment. You’ll definitely feel a shift with this one.

Practice patience: As a passenger, there is one easy way that can really help change the scene: start breathing deep. Jeannie suggests to “breath through your solar plexus [area between the rib cage and the navel], even on the inhale, even on the exhale. If you’re really wound up, start to lengthen the exhale; this will induce a relaxation response in your body. If one person is more relaxed, the other person is going to become more relaxed.”

viaYoga on the Go: Yoga Tips for the Car – Shape Magazine.

Beirut – Santa Fe

26 Sep

Benefits of meditation

25 Sep

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Sense of Humor – PranaWorld | believe in miracles –

24 Sep
Sense of humor

‘A sense of humor enables you to enjoy life and to deal with it realistically.’

Sense of Humor – PranaWorld | believe in miracles –.

8 Reasons Yoga is a Better Workout Than the Gym

29 Aug
yoga-handstand

by Heidi Kristoffer

By nature, I am not a comparer. Everything has its plusses and minuses in my book (except, of course, yoga which is all plusses!). So, while I am not anti-gym, I do think that yoga kicks the gym’s derrière on every level, and you can kick your own (butt, that is) in yoga, literally, if you feel like it!

People are always curious as to “what else I do” to “work out” other than yoga. The answer? Nothing! Yoga is everything my body needs to function at it’s absolute best. Here’s why:

It’s efficient! Why would I waste so much time at the gym working each part of my body separately when I can connect all of the dots and do it all at once with yoga? No amount of lifting weights is going to make my arms as strong as holding up my own body weight in yoga. Also, practically everything you do in yoga is engaging your core, from core-centric poses to moving from pose to pose, using your core to stabilize your body. And in different inversions and arm balances, yoga allows you to raise your heartbeat, strengthen your muscles, and lengthen them out all at once. How’s that for efficiency?

It can count as cardio. All you have to do is try a few sun salutations or any flow at a good, steady pace, matching your breath to your movement. Or, if you are a bit more adventurous, try some Kundalini kriyas (like the Kundalini frogs in the step-by-step breakdown of shoulder press pose.)

Yoga is not a competitive sport! I prefer yoga to the gym as I steer clear of anything that involves pitting myself against others. Isn’t there enough competition in work and in life in general? While some people thrive on trying to be the fastest in spin class or trying to run longer than the woman on the treadmill next to them, in yoga it doesn’t matter what any one else is doing. There is no comparing or competing because there is only you.

It saves money. In fact, yoga doesn’t have to cost a penny. All you need to practice is you. You can wear any clothes that allow you to move, and you don’t even need a yoga mat: grass and carpet work just fine. If you want some inspiration, there are plenty of great, inexpensive yoga DVDs or free online videos.

You can do it anywhere. With no equipment necessary, it doesn’t matter if you are at home, at your office, on the road—or even in the streets of NYC, as in the SHAPE Yoga Anywhere videos. So long as you have the desire, you can strike a few poses.

Yoga will help you lose weight. Practicing yoga changes your mind: It changes the way you approach life, your body, and eating. Yoga shows you how to appreciate your body for all of the amazing things that it can do for you and points you in the direction of wanting to fill your body with the best possible fuel rather than processed junk food. And changing your mind about your body and the foods you feed it will be a much more effective weight-loss tool than burning a bunch of calories in an aggressive kick-boxing class and then mindlessly plowing through equal or more calories later that day.

Hello, variety. Yoga can be different every single day, if you want it to be. Want a challenge? Throw some arm balances and inversions into your practice. Need to focus? Try a few balance poses sequentially on the same foot. Or if you’re seeking relaxation, hang out in pigeon, a few seated forward folds, and a restorative backbend.

No injuries. In yoga, you learn to unite your body and mind. This allows you to move with ease and pay attention to how your body is feeling at all times, so you move in a way that feels good for you and not one that puts you in places your body doesn’t want to be. The result? An injury-free, strong, healthy, whole you.

In all fairness, I realize that this is a pretty one-sided argument (okay, a totally one-sided argument). But, for those who ask, “What else you need other than yoga?” I say: If you are going to chose one over the other, chose the one that saves you time, saves you money, makes you feel great, and helps you lose weight.

via8 Reasons Yoga is a Better Workout Than the Gym – Shape Magazine.

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Yoga Talks Event (english)

28 Aug
yoga-talks

Yoga-talks banner

On September 22nd 2012, for the first time ever, the West Island will be hosting a full day yoga festival; YogaTalks. The event will be held at the beautiful St-Lawrence Yacht Club where hundreds of yogis, brand new and experienced, will be touched, moved and inspired by the talks, workshops and seminars of the day. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Yoga Mala Foundation in support of their initiative in the development of yoga programs in communities in need.

Additional infos

viaYoga Talks.

Yoga for Anger Management

22 Aug

Yoga for anger management

Rather you are a man, woman or child you may occasionally struggle with anger. Some people experience this negative emotion more than others or to a greater extreme. In any case, yoga can be a great tool to help control fury. There are many poses (asanas) that can greatly benefit anyone when they experience anger.

Signs of anger

Flushing of the face

Persistent verbal arguments

Finding yourself having problems with the law

Threatening harm to others or engaging in physical encounters

Reckless behavior, such as destroying property and breaking property

Holding in anger (which can later lead to an explosive reaction)

Feeling frustrated

Experiencing jealousy

Judging and criticizing others

How yoga can help with anger

Yoga poses can help with anger as you perform them while breathing deeply and quietly.

The following asanas are beneficial to those who experience anger.

– The Shoulder Stand ( Sarvang Asana )

As you feel hatred build up or a lot of anger come upon you, the shoulder stand is a great exercise to help tame these feelings.

– Hidden Lotus Pose (Gupta Padmasana)

This asana brings about a sense of tranquility, balance and emotional well being. In addition, it is great for the spine as it helps to align it properly.

– Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The corpse pose is one of the best for promoting relaxation. Anger can cause high blood pressure, and savasana is good for lowering blood pressure, making it even more beneficial in times of displeasure.

Russell Brand performs yoga to aid with anger issues

Russell Brand, Katy Perry’s ex-husband, has been using yoga as an anger management technique. During an interview on the talk show “Piers Morgan” Brand actually states, “For the first time in my life I spend more time meditating and doing yoga than I do having sex. That’s only because I do a hell of a lot of yoga. And they’re still neck and neck!”

A judge states that yoga is a part of anger management

A man was actually sentenced to perform yoga as part of anger management for slapping his wife. Judge Larry Standley said, “It’s part of anger management. For people who are into it, it really calms them down.”

Videos on yoga for anger management

Coby Langford leads viewers through asanas that are great for irritability and anger in this video that focuses on Dru yoga. Dru yoga is one of about 50 different types of yoga that is similar to tai chi in the flow and movement.

Yoga for emotions offers a free online class on how to release anger through the practice of yoga. This video is by Namaste Yoga with Dr. Melissa West. These poses and breathing techniques will aid in turning your life from chaos to calm.

Are you ready to fight anger and bad emotions back with the practice of yoga? It is definitely well worth the time and effort to go from feeling hatred to enjoying happiness.

viaYoga for Anger Management – Yahoo! Sports.

Yoga Could Decrease Costs, Sick Days For People With Chronic Back Pain

22 Aug
Yoga-For-Back-Pain-Relief

Yoga for back pain relief

People with chronic low back pain may want to try taking to the yoga mat to relieve their symptoms, a small new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom found that back pain sufferers who participated in a group yoga program for 12 weeks had fewer medical costs and fewer missed days from work, compared with people who didn’t participate in the yoga program.

“We welcome the fact that not only has yoga been found to help people manage their back pain, but that it is also cost effective, and results in fewer sick days,” Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, which funded the study, said in a statement. “It is another option for people who are struggling to manage their condition, and one that encourages the move to self-management.”

The Spine journal study included more than 300 people who experienced recurring back pain; half of them were assigned to the 12-week yoga program and also received standard medical care, while the other half only received standard medical care for their pain. (Standard medical care could mean anything from seeing a physiotherapist, to receiving prescription painkillers.)

The researchers found that each person was able to participate in the yoga intervention at a cost of less than 300 pounds ($472 in U.S. dollars). And people who participated in the yoga program also took fewer sick days from work than people who only received the standard care.

Yoga has been shown in past studies to aid in back pain relief. Researchers found that yoga classes or stretching classes helped people with chronic low back pain to manage their pain, compared with just using a “self-care” book, according to a 2011 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

And “several other studies — all smaller than ours — have found that Iyengar yoga and general Hatha yoga are helpful for persons with back pain,” study researcher Karen Sherman, Ph.D., of the Group Health Research Institute, earlier told HuffPost. “My guess is that any therapeutically-oriented style of yoga could be helpful to people with chronic back pain.”

viaYoga Could Decrease Costs, Sick Days For People With Chronic Back Pain.

No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. ~ Buddha

21 Aug

No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. ~ Buddha

Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon

21 Aug

Warm water and lemon

The way you start each day is incredibly important. Whether you’re a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down.

Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.

Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.

But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..

Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.

It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:

1. Boosts you’re immune system 

Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.

2. Balances pH

Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.

3. Helps with weight loss

Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.

4. Aids digestion

The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.

5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic

Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.

6. Clears skin

The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.

7. Hydrates the lymph system

This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!

Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.

Like I said, the recipe is really simple – a cup of warm (not hot) water and the juice from half a lemon.

In the comments below, tell me which one of these benefits is going to get you to try this morning ritual. Or, if you’re already a lemon water junkie, what specific benefits have you noticed?

viaWhy You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon.

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Yoga Food – Eat like a yogi
Yoga proves to reduce depression in pregnant women, boost maternal bonding
Blood evidence, Yoga reduces our stress level