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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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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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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

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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.

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.

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 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.

Yoga proves to reduce depression in pregnant women, boost maternal bonding

15 Aug

Prenatal yoga

It’s no secret that pregnancy hormones can dampen moods, but for some expectant moms, it’s much worse: 1 in 5 experience major depression.

Now, new research shows that an age-old recommended stress-buster may actually work for this group of women: yoga.

Pregnant women who were identified as psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms, according to a University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study. Mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.

The findings were published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

“We hear about pregnant women trying yoga to reduce stress but there’s no data on how effective this method is,” says lead author Maria Muzik, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant research scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development. “Our work provides promising first evidence that mindfulness yoga may be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical treatment for pregnant women showing signs of depression.

“This promotes both mother and baby wellbeing.”

Mental health disorders during pregnancy, including depression and anxiety, have become a serious health concern. Hormonal changes, genetic predisposition and social factors set the stage for some expectant moms to experience persistent irritability, feelings of being overwhelmed and inability to cope with stress.

Untreated, these symptoms bear major health risks for both the mom and baby, including poor weight gain, preeclampsia, premature labor and trouble bonding with the new baby.

While antidepressants have proven to effectively treat these mood disorders, Muzik says, previous studies show that many pregnant women are reluctant to take these drugs out of concern for their infant’s safety.

“Unfortunately, few women suffering from perinatal health disorders receive treatment, exposing them and their child to the negative impact of psychiatric illness during one of the most vulnerable times,” Muzik says. “That’s why developing feasible alternatives for treatment is critical.”

Evidence suggests women are more comfortable with nontraditional treatments, including herbal medicine, relaxation techniques and mind-body work.

Yoga continues to grow in popularity but in the United States, many classes concentrate on yoga as “exercise,” omitting the practice of being fully present in the moment and aware, authors say.

Meanwhile, mindfulness yoga – which combines meditative focus with physical poses – has proven to be a powerful method to fight stress and boost energy.

For the U-M research study, women who showed signs of depression and who were between 12-26 weeks pregnant participated in 90-minute mindfulness yoga sessions that focused on poses for the pregnant body, as well as support in the awareness of how their bodies were changing to help their babies grow.

Funding for follow up work on this subject was recently provided by a grant from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

“Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” Muzik says. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”

viaYoga proves to reduce depression in pregnant women, boost maternal bonding.

Why All Olympians Are Yogis

2 Aug

Credit: Career Upshift

Like many Americans – I get excited to watch the Olympics. I laugh, I cry, my heart pounds! I find myself looking at these athletes and being inspired by their ‘yogic qualities.’

Their hearts are wide open. No matter how many times they lose (and they must lose a lot) – they lead life with their heart. They don’t close off when they are down. They go out time and time again and open to grace. Their stories are epic; how they got to the Olympics, their life path. Each one has a unique journey.

Each one has to believe in themselves. Sure we all experience negative self-talk, but Olympians have to create a space in the mind to believe in themselves. They have to be their own biggest fans.From that place of strength they rise to greatness.We already know: Yoga is a practice of the mind. We use the physical to access the mind. The Olympics appear to also be a physical practice. But above all, being an athlete in the Olympics means having a strong mind-body connection and a strong mind.

When looking at the 8-limbed path of yoga – four (half) of the limbs are directed at the practice of the mind. Two limbs are physical (pranayama and asana) and two are ethical practices (yamas and niyamas). As an Olympic athlete we could create a similar ‘8-limbed path’; 1) Strength 2) Grace 3) Speed 4) Breath Control 5) Perseverance 6) Focus 7) Drive 8) Surrender, Contentment and Bliss.

As a life-long student and teacher of yoga, I see the practice everywhere.  It’s pure beauty to witness.  Above all, whether you are a world class athlete or on your mat, the practice can guide you to your best self, one step at a time.

viaWhy All Olympians Are Yogis.

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Blood evidence, Yoga reduces our stress level

26 Jul

yoga anti-stressResearchers at the University of Los Angeles have shown that yoga would have a biological effect on the health of persons under chronic stress. These findings were published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, 14 July 2012.

A previous research conducted in Pittsburgh in April 2012, had already shown that chronic stress cause a weakened immune system and could increase the occurrence of recurring health problems.

Here, researchers from the University of Los Angeles wanted to know if meditation has a biological effect on the immune disturbances of stressed individuals.

So they selected 45 people who take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. These people, in whom there is constant stress, regularly develop depressive symptoms, emotional distress, and have a decreased energy.

Every day for eight weeks, participants divided into two groups, had to do a meditation session of 12 minutes, either by practicing yoga, or by isolating itself to listen some relaxing music.

At the beginning of the experiment, a blood test had revealed that they all had high levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. These substances are released into the body when subjected to an aggression threatening its integrity.

After eight weeks of daily meditation, their rates had declined in samples of the group practicing yoga .

In fact, scientists believe that this relaxation method would influence the expression of certain genes, themselves responsible for the disruption of the immune system by stress.

They bring by blood evidence that yoga can reduce and control anxiety, what fans of the practice had advocated already long!

viaLe yoga réduit notre niveau de stress, la preuve par le sang : Allodocteurs.fr.

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Is Yoga Popular?

24 Jul

If you were to Google “Yoga popularity” you will find pages upon pages of articles talking about the popularity of yoga. So the question this article asks is: Is yoga really popular? The answer that this post comes up with may surprise you.

Before we jump into answering this question we should clarify by what we mean by yoga. In this article the practice of yoga asana or the yoga of postures is referred to as yoga. The practice of all 8 limbs of yoga as defined by Patanjali would reduce the numbers of yoga practitioner to be quite marginal.

Let us look at the raw numbers. As per Yoga Journal survey in 2008 there are about 16 Million people practicing yoga in the US. This translates to about 5% of the population. If we were to take this number world-wide we have to first eliminate half the population. It was estimated in 2005 that about half the world lived in poverty at less than $2.50 per day. For the people fighting a daily battle to bring bread on the table yoga is not on their list of priorities. We then have to accept that yoga has poor penetration in China, most of Africa, and Middle-East. Even in India, the asana yoga practice is not very popular and it would be safe to say that the popularity is no greater than that in the US.

If you were to do the math you will probably conclude that no more than 2% of the world does yoga. Even this is probably a wild over-estimate. So the question then arises: can we claim that something practiced by 2% of the population as popular?

The point of the article is not to stir up controversy or engage in a mindless statistical exercise. The point is to illustrate the work ahead. Because of the low penetration of yoga the benefits to society has been on the margins. Yoga can help bring down healthcare costs and also improve productivity of the working population. Yoga can also help improve education. It is not difficult to imagine that reduction of anxiety and stress can greatly improve learning. The resulting benefits from improvement in education to society would be quite phenomenal.

Yoga can also help pacify and calm down society. If yoga were to be practiced by 90% of the population you may see the need of less policemen and jails. And as yoga spreads to a majority of countries you may even see a reduction in wars and conflict.

Unfortunately the practice of yoga within the “at risk” community is pretty insignificant. Thus the people who can benefit most from yoga are not the ones practicing it. This is why the tangible benefit to society from yoga has been marginal at this point and that is why work done by people like Lisa Danylchuk is so important.

It has been close to 100 years since Krishnamacharya started his epic quest to popularize yoga and we have reached about 2% of the population in that time. Even if we were to see a geometric increase in the number of people practicing yoga, we are talking about many decades before yoga reaches say 25% of the population world-wide. It is probably only at such levels that we should first start seeing direct benefits accrue to society. When this happens that would be a “tipping point” for yoga. An earlier post talked about the foundation of sacrifice on which yoga has spread. What this post is trying to say is that Krishnamacharya’s work remains unfinished. Only when society sees direct benefit accrue to itself, only then yoga teachers will be justly compensated. Till then the wagon of yoga will have to be pulled by the force of sacrifice.

viaIs Yoga Popular? | MyLifeYoga.

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Getting the Hang of Anti-Gravity Yoga

19 Jul

yoga anti gravity

I am sitting inside a silk sling suspended three feet off the floor, feeling like a caterpillar in a giant orange cocoon.

I’m trying out an anti-gravity yoga class, a type of body work that’s been gaining popularity since being featured in The New York Times and O Magazine, and showcased to the TV masses when Pink took to the air during her 2010 Grammy performance.

The instructor directs me and about a dozen other students to use our hands to draw back the edges of the colorful silk slings, which are 9 feet wide and attached to pulleys bolted to the ceiling. We comply and end up sitting on the fabric like a swing — and then swinging. I’ve practiced yoga for years — and this is definitely not your traditional yoga class.

Hard-core yogis and yoginis would probably balk at even using the word “yoga” to describe this form of exercise, which combines modified yoga poses with movements from Pilates, acrobatics and core strength training.

Anti-gravity yoga was created by Christopher Harrison, a competitive gymnast turned professional dancer who worked on Broadway and in movies such as Footloose before running an aerial performance company in the 1990s. He discovered yoga while looking for relief for his ailing, aging joints and then started mixing it with dance and aerial movements to create what he refers to on his website as “suspension training.” His company, AntiGravity Inc., offered classes to the public for the first time in 2007, and he credits the regime with helping him through a 10-month recovery from Lyme disease the following year.

Since then, Harrison has helped several dozen anti-gravity yoga franchises open in U.S. cities such as New York, San Francisco and Salt Lake City, and internationally in places such as Mexico City, Montreal, Dublin and Phuket, Thailand.

My class is at Gravitas, a Portland studio that offers anti-gravity yoga along with other new forms of body work, including “hot” yoga, taught in an infrared room that heats the people but not the space, and gyrokinesis, a Pilates-type exercise system developed by an ex-ballet dancer that focuses on spinal movement.

The 75-minute anti-gravity yoga workout is equal parts disconcerting and fun. It’s disconcerting because the first time you walk into the studio, it’s easy to feel intimidated by those silk hammocks, which you spend most of the class sitting inside, grabbing onto or hanging upside down from. But it’s also fun, because once you get acquainted with the basics — and stop caring how you look — it’s a blast.

My anti-gravity class begins with a series of stretches inside silks meant to get students relaxed and ready for harder work. We move through a sequence of increasingly difficult poses, including variations of the classic yoga sun salutation, lunge, warrior and triangle poses, using the silk as a belt-type support to intensify the stretches.

Then it’s time to go upside-down. Remember the inversion racks and anti-gravity boots that were popular in the ’80s? I think of them as I pull myself into a monkey pose, hanging upside-down with my legs bent, ankles and feet wrapped tight around the silk and my head and the backs of my hands resting on the ground.

Anti-gravity yoga is touted as being beneficial for people with back issues because using the sling as a prop takes pressure off the spine. I’ll vouch for that, but that doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable or easy. The practice includes lots of challenging core strength work, including grabbing the silk between outstretched hands and pushing it out in front of me as I lean forward into a modified plank pose, then repeating it again and again.

After class, I’m slightly dizzy, a normal reaction for a beginner who’s not used to spending that much time upside-down, as the instructor explains. The dizziness wears off by the time I drive home, and I find myself plotting when I can squeeze in another class.

viaGetting the Hang of Anti-Gravity Yoga – SecondAct.com.

 

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Acro-Yoga – A more masculine yoga?

17 Jul
Acro-Yoga

Photos: Acro-yoga Montréal

Everyone knows yoga, the Millennium discipline practiced by millions of  worldwide followers. But do you know the acro-yoga, this blend of acrobatics and yoga?

Unlike the traditional form of yoga that is practiced alone, this variant of modern times involves two partners minimum who perform different movements together. Many figures imply the presence on the ground of one of two practitioners, which becomes the “base” and supports the weight of his partner who becomes the “flyer“.

These are two Montrealers Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku who invented in 2001 this hybrid discipline that attracts a wide audience, including men. “It is true that the acro-yoga captivated many men, because some exercises require that one who is on the ground can raise his partner, which requires some physical strength, said Jill Campbell, a professor at Acro Yoga Montreal. But it should certainly not summarize the acro-yoga with the notion of physical exertion, acro-yoga is primarily a way to find balance, move in space with a partner or more while focusing on synchronizing the breath with that of his partner. ”

When looking at some movements of acro-yoga, one quickly realizes the difficulty of the exercise and the importance of teamwork. “It is a discipline that is anything but selfish, each practitioner has with her ​​partner a dependent relationship very strong with time, Jill Campbell says. We must be attentive to the other. ”

But if physical force is a factor in the practice of this new discipline, the meditative spirit of yoga and the values ​​of harmony are not set aside. “When doing acro-yoga, it is important to be in the moment, which means being aware of what one feels, the reactions of our body, communicating with his partner.”
Many acro-yoga practitioners are already familiar with disciplines where the body plays an important role as the circus, tai chi chuan, dance, as is the case with Aurelie, practicing dance since many years and who has just discovered the acro-yoga. “What I particularly like in the acro-yoga is this is a mix between yoga, gym and circus, we play a lot about balance, concentration and self-confidence, but also confidence in a partner that knows no bound. In addition, unlike a yoga session at the end where you feel relaxed and zen, with the acro-yoga we’re pretty super excited and energized. ”

For Jill Campbell, the benefits of acro-yoga are felt even when the course is finished and working closely with a partner resonates in the lives of every day. “We have noticed that people who practice regularly feel an overall improvement in their confidence in themselves, they develop a sense of contact with others both verbal and physical. They less feel barriers and communicate more easily, I would also say they have one certain joy of life ».

viaAcro-yoga – Un yoga plus masculin?.

Related :
Acro Yoga by Equinox

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Technology: The future of wind power is it to fly?

15 Jul
Éolienne "cerf-volant"

Éolienne volante de Joby Energy – Crédit photo : © jobyenergy.com

Stronger than onshore and offshore wind: wind wheel … Two U.S. companies propose to overcome the problems associated with wind power, mainly the low productivity and heavy material requirements, by developing a kind of deer-flying capable of producing electricity. Crazy idea or promising project?

Clean and renewable, wind power is one answer to the energy challenge that humanity faces. Unfortunately, it suffers from defects and must wipe critics more or less justified that hinder its development and sometimes question: first, productivity already relatively low, is totally dependent on the continuity and the intensity of the wind. The use of alternative energies is often necessary.

Then, the installation of a mast requires a lot of material and the carbon footprint of the operation is not always very positive (especially if you count the break). Finally, the wind turbines are accused, whether on land or at sea, of generating an eyesore in the landscape, even a noise that could disturb nearby homes.

However two U.S. companies may have found the solution to make wind more productive, cheaper, and less annoying…

Wind turbines of the future

Joby Energy and Makani Power has indeed had the idea to pick up where the wind is steadier and stronger: at altitude. Also, these companies come to present wind prototypes like kites that would amount to more than 400 meters to capture more substantial and more powerful gusts. Result: productivity doubled (the current is routed to the ground via cables that would retain).

Another plus, material costs would be drastically reduced (no work). Makani Power believes that its machine would be five to ten times cheaper than a conventional wind turbine. And Joby Energy Announces spending 20 times less.

These innovations offer the added advantage of being easily moved, allowing to follow the winds  and respond to potential visual or audible nuisance complaints.

The first products should be marketed in 2015. To be continued …

viaTechnologie : L’avenir de l’éolien est-il de voler ? | Developpement Durable.

 

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Namaste! San Francisco International Airport introduces yoga room

14 Jul


SAN FRANCISCOStressed out by flying?

Travelers in Northern California can now find their inner calm in the Yoga Room at San Francisco International Airport.

The quiet, dimly lit studio officially opened last week in a former storage room just past the security checkpoint at SFO’s Terminal 2.

Airport officials believe the 150-square-foot room with mirrored walls is the world’s first airport yoga studio, said spokesman Mike McCarron.

The room, open to all ticketed passengers, contains a few chairs and yoga mats but no instructors or televisions. No shoes, food, drinks or cell phones are allowed.

“Silence is appreciated,” says a sign spelling out “Yoga Room Etiquette.”

A prominent blue-and-white sign with a Buddha-like pictogram beckons visitors: “Come check out our Yoga Room.”

Frequent flyer Maria Poole accepted the invitation, practicing a downward dog asana and other yoga poses before boarding her flight.

“It’s perfect,” said Poole, 47, of Lafayette. “I think it should be in every airport, especially the terminals that I fly through. This would be such a great way for me to get my exercise in, get a little peace and quiet — a little Zen moment.”

The Yoga Room is just the latest example of how airports are trying to improve the passenger experience and showcase their regional culture, noting the ancient practice’s popularity in the San Francisco Bay area, said Debby McElroy, executive vice president of Airports Council International-North America.

In recent years, airports have upgraded their food and shopping venues and added massage parlors, nail salons, dry cleaners and pet hotels, McElroy said, but SFO is the first to add a yoga room in North America and probably the world.

“I expect other airports will be looking at whether a yoga room at their airport makes sense,” McElroy said.

SFO officials say the idea came from a passenger who checked out the newly remodeled terminal last year and told Airport Director John Martin it was lacking one thing: a yoga room.

Martin, a long-time yoga practitioner, agreed. Airport managers spent $15,000 to $20,000 to turn the storage space into the yoga studio.

SFO officials had to design the Yoga icon after they couldn’t find one in the international guide of airport pictograms that direct travelers to taxis, restrooms and baggage claim carousels.

Lindsey Shepard of Fremont, who was traveling with Poole, said she liked having “a dark place to chill out and have a timeout and relax.”

“Flying can be stressful,” Shepard said. “It’s nice to have something to do at the airport besides sit around and eat bad food and read magazines.”

Of course, the Yoga Room isn’t for everyone.

“If I got into yoga, I might lose track of time and miss my flight,” said Robert Diaz, 52, of Seal Beach, who was visiting San Francisco with his wife. “I’d be so relaxed.”

viaNamaste! San Francisco International Airport introduces yoga room – NY Daily News.

airport yoga room

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

 

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World Competitors Stretch to Prove Yoga Is a Sport

8 Jul
Juan Manuel Martin-Busitil

Juan Manuel Martin-Busitil of Spain won the men’s championship. There were 75 competitors from 24 countries at this year’s tournament. By SARA BECK

LOS ANGELES — Silence prevailed during the yoga asana routines of the ninth annual Bishnu Charan Ghosh Cup — except for one distinct sound: the low engine rumble of airplanes lifting off and landing at the Los Angeles airport.

This international competition has made the noise of momentum, too, but just where it is heading is hard to predict. Will it become a sport recognized on the Olympic stage as Rajashree Choudhury, the founder of USA Yoga and the International Yoga Sports Federation, hopes? Or is it destined to remain a quirky transplant from India practiced by an exclusive set of Bikram yogis?

“All are welcome here,” said Choudhury, the wife of Bikram and a five-time national champion in India. “We need as many yogis and styles as possible to make this dream a reality.”

The event was held at the LAX Radisson, where the mirrored ballroom became a competitive yoga stadium and runway-like hallways morphed into warm-up rooms for yogis. Onstage, a garland-draped image of Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram’s guru, looked on while seven judges sat with pencils raised, critiquing the routines.

“The quality of the athletes has evolved tremendously,” said Jon Gans, an organizer and former judge of the event. “Postures, like peacock, that seemed to be a pinnacle pose the first year would now seem normal.”

The Bishnu Charan Ghosh Cup in 2003, before the federation took the reins, was a Bikram affair. The sprawling Staples Center featured hundreds of yoga vendors, and the competition got lost in the merchandise. Fewer than 10 countries were represented, and it is said that Bikram lost a quarter-million dollars.

Though the event is more focused now — and often serves as a platform for yogis to tell their stories — the number of competitors has grown. At a Friday night dinner, Choudhury welcomed the 75 competitors from 24 countries.

Throughout the weekend, Bikram’s monogrammed Rolls-Royce sat at the hotel’s entrance, and he remained front and center, changing his outfit six times over the weekend. One silver sequined jacket, said to have inspired Michael Jackson, sparkled so much that one female competitor confessed that it distracted her onstage.

At first, Choudhury avoided the word “competition,” urging the participants to accept whatever happened with humility and a smile.

“Shine on that stage,” she said. “That should be your mantra. …There are no rivals, only fellow coaches.”

But later she compared the Ghosh Cup to other sporting events, and the ethereal gave way to the mundane.

Mary Jarvis, a coach of seven world champions, reported last-minute changes in the grace score methodology. When coaches politely grumbled about the late notice and lack of organization, Jarvis said, “This is a work in progress.”

Competitors had three minutes to complete five compulsory poses from the Bikram beginner series and two optional poses, which typically came from the advanced series. Judges considered the posture’s degree of difficulty and “how well the body reveals the therapeutic benefits of the practice.”

The national anthem kicked off Saturday’s qualifying round, but little else resembled an Olympic event except for the impressive athletic ability. Judges were paraded on stage in cocktail dresses, events ran up to two hours behind, and the 800-person ballroom was sometimes half empty. The online viewership throughout the weekend exceeded 10,000 hits.

Ten men and 10 women moved from Saturday’s qualifying round to Sunday’s finals, including seven Americans. The United States, with a developed network of studios, presented four representatives from the highly attended national competition, while others, like China, sent only one, and she lives in Boulder, Colo.

Bishnu Ghosh’s granddaughter, Muktamala Mitra, said Americans seemed more ambitious in their practice. “They struggle more and are harder working,” she said.

Rumors that someone might attempt a one-handed, bowlegged peacock, a pose that judges say would have been unimaginable nine years ago, spread throughout the hotel. It was performed by Dipannita Mondal, 17 the girls youth division winner from India.

The Ghosh Cup’s role is to build momentum for yoga asana, providing an “I can do that, too” energy among observers, particularly young ones. Of the 13 competitors in the youth division (11- to 17-year-olds), five were from India, and three were siblings from Canada.

“When I first started two years ago, I couldn’t straighten my knees in a forward bend,” said Toby Killick, 13, who placed fourth. “Everything was pretty sad, you could say.”

A few of his friends find it cool that he can do backbends, and another joined him for class once, but threw up in the hot studio after guzzling too much water.

“I warned him, but it takes some getting used to,” Killick said.

Participants from India, where yoga competitions have been around for a century, swept the youth competition, drawing gasps from the crowd as they bent like rubber into their postures. They hustled on and off the stage, sometimes with more than 30 seconds to spare.

“They are very shy,” Choudhury said, noting that some are from rural villages and most do not speak English. “I bring them to the West to teach them about performance.”

When she competed in India, she said, the audience would bang pots and pans to cause distraction, not unlike what an opposing team does during the pressure-filled moment of a free-throw shot. In the ballroom, the M.C. encouraged silence before promising the audience a lifetime of psychological torment if their cellphones went off.

The men’s finals featured a surprising number of falls, something Choudhury chalked up to mental stress. The American champion, Jared McCann, placed third after slipping from his handstand scorpion into a full wheel.

Gloria Suen, 35, from Singapore, took the women’s gold medal with a full standing bow, her arms spread wide like airplane wings. Juan Manuel Martin-Busutil, 33, from Spain, won the men’s title after pressing into an inverted palm tree that mirrored the landscape outside.

“Being upside down is a way to suspend my mind and let go,” he said. “But yoga is also my tangible grasp on reality.”

Will competitive yoga asana lift off as a sport as gracefully as the champions’ bodies did on stage? Time will tell. Among the duties of the champions is to travel the world promoting and demonstrating yoga asana.

“Every one of you is making history, and evolving this sport,” said Joseph Encinia, of the United States, the men’s world champion last year. “We’re doing well, but we’re not at an Olympic level yet.”

viaWorld Competitors Stretch to Prove Yoga Is a Sport – NYTimes.com.

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With YogaLab, we associate the benefits of yoga and music

6 Jul

What is it?
An idea of Marco Prince (yes, yes, the lead singer of FFF and, for younger children, the juror of the show “New Star” in France) and Mika de Brito (yoga teacher internationally recognized for its sensory approach). The principle? Do yoga in immersive sound, with headphones glued to the head to balance physical and connect to our emotions quickly.

How is it?
Effective: the sound, rhythm, frequencies of music affect parts of the brain (brain waves) and amplify the benefits of yoga. Resourceful.

It is for me?
This is a yoga for stressed people, pressed and others who are treated for being superative . A yoga to learn to do good, to take time for yourself, to disconnect.

It’s good for what?
Choices: to strengthen (the PowerLab), to realize (the FocusLab), to appease (the MeditationLab) or for fun (the EmotionLab).

With what?
An outfit where you feel comfortable. The rest is provided.

viaAvec le YogaLab, on associe les bienfaits du yoga et de la musique – Le lotus en musique – Beauté – Le Figaro – Madame.. (IN FRENCH)

 

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Hot Fitness Trend: Karaoke Yoga »

6 Jul

Looking to get out of a fitness or weight loss rut? You might want to check out one of the breakout fitness trends of the season; Karaoke Yoga!

For those of you that love dance based workouts, karaoke yoga might be perfect for you. The New York Daily News reports that Los Angeles-based yoga instructor Jennifer Pastiloff devised the class by enlisting the aid of DJ Gina Mooring. They created a one-hour “joy-based” yoga-singing class that has attracted a hearty following of students — and plenty of media buzz.

“If you’re looking for a strict, alignment-based yoga class, don’t come because this isn’t one of them,” Pastiloff told Relaxnews. “This is about having the workout of your life, singing, dancing, and feeling silly.” The benefit, she says, is not only opening your body through yoga but feeling connected to the other students through the process of group singing. “People are starved for connection in the world, and this class can offer that.”

The affordable, fun classes come complete with a television screen for song lyrics, and you can expect group renditions (no solos) of popular hits by Elton John, Journey, Michael Jackson, Adele, and the Beatles.

Want to give karaoke yoga a try? The classes will be available in major cities later this year.

viaHot Fitness Trend: Karaoke Yoga » Real Style Network – Beauty.

 

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1st Montreal Yoga Music Festival 2012 – July 14 & 15

19 Jun

Festival Yoga Montréal

Saturday and Sunday July 14 and 15 for those interested!

For more info: Yoga and Music Festival

Namasté

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And if I put my electronic yoga outfit?

13 Jun
Tenue de yoga électronique

The Move par Electricfoxy

A new outfit designed by Electricfoxy emits a little sound as soon as we do our positions badly, thus avoiding despite our good will, unfortunate injuries. It is equipped with four elastic bands and sensors that can determined in what position the body is being placed. If something is wrong and “dangerous”, the device lets us know and locate the exact problem area. After exercise, if we plug our devices (smart phones and tablets) it provides more details including schematics representing us.

But be careful with this toy that could put you in awkward positions. Do not push beyond your limits! Nothing replaces a good yoga teacher.

http://www.electricfoxy.com/move/

Namasté

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Plains filled!

12 Jun
Plaines d'Abraham

PHOTO KARL TREMBLAY

After the huge yoga session in New York,  it was the turn of Abraham’s Plains.  Sunday june 10th,  over 300 people were there for a first success! Claire Vinel, yoga teacher and organizer of the event is sure to repeat the experience next year.

Namasté

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