U.K.Yoga blogs

UK Yoga Blogs

20 June 2021

UK Yoga Blogs UK Yoga Blogs
  • Where to practice
    19 June 2021

    As train fares are up and furlough for me is at an end I’m having to make a decision about where I practice, as I’m back to living on a pension and just one day a week working. The week day morning mysore Zoom group is still going after 15 months and provides the motivation to get out of bed and get on my mat.

    I’ve been back at AYL since April and for the last couple of weeks at our local studio as well, but with the financial situation that’s not sustainable. This isn’t just a question about money, it’s also made me think about why I go and what I get from going to practice. AYL and Louise provide a community along with a place to lay my mat, for me going to AYL has always been about the community as much as the practice. But with covid there isn’t much community, apart from the odd wave across the shala, long gone are the days of shared breakfast after practice.

    It’s also about the practice itself, if I’m being honest I don’t need much help, I can bind everything on my own and having cracked the dropback game, I don’t even get assistance with that, so it’s the occasional random assist, but mostly just a case of plodding through on my own. Also I’ve been on Ustrasana 4 years now, so I think it’s safe to say as far as AYL are concerned I’ve reached my “last” posture. So with the physical practice I’m beginning to feel like my practice isn’t progressing or benefitting from making the expensive replacement bus trek into the city on a Sunday morning, but AYL feels like home and I’m loathe to stop going completely, but the urgency and need to go has waned.

    The local shala is a different thing and is only just coming back to life after the enforced hiatus. It’s woken up to a different feeling, quite a few people haven’t come back and probably won’t, they have lost the habit, particularly the older people for whom it was more a social event in their weekly calendar and some who have moved away in the last year or no longer want to make the journey from further away. It seems to have left a smaller group, consisting of the more dedicated practitioners, we have all returned to our socially distanced preferred spots in the room.

    The local studio has luckily retained Caroline to teach us, she’s an AYL student as well, so her teaching etc is very consistent with AYL’s. Post opening I’ve been 3 times now, the classes cost more than AYL, but getting there is a 15 minute walk, rather than the expensive train or 2 hours some weeks, on a rail replacement bus.

    But as I said it’s not just about cost or the crap journey, it’s also about the practice and community. The local studio has a growing community. But the difference for me is the practice, at AYL I feel unseen sometimes, left mostly to my own devices, apart from an instruction a few weeks ago by Louise to put my heels together in Dhanurasana, I can’t remember the last time I got any actual teaching input. Caroline on the other hand makes sure we get what we need, she leaves me to bind Mari D and Supta K on my own, but she’s right behind me and on me when Bhekasana and Ustrasana come round. She doesn’t allow me to just plod through to my last posture, she’s actually had me trying Laghu Vajrasana and a very assisted Kapotasana. I can actually do Laghu, my legs are pretty strong. But it’s her teaching in Ustrasana and Dhanurasana, making me think about the tail bone and opening the chest and making space between the vertebrae that’s allowed the Kapo experiments to happen and not feel uncomfortable and the marked improvement in my dropbacks after her teaching in intermediate.

    For now I’ve decided to alternate between AYL and the local studio, it’s doable until hopefully the work situation improves. Although I love AYL, I’m actually getting more of what I need at the local studio, at AYL I’m just another student passing through, one who can do it on their own and can be left alone with little or no intervention or teaching. At the local studio I’m the same student, but I think I’m seen by the teacher as a work (still) in progress as opposed to AYL where I’m a student who has got to where they are going and isn’t destined to progress any further.

  • Gaining clarity whilst being in such short supply
    18 June 2021

    Navigating the “new normal” has become a pastime for many of us these days, whether that’s willing or not. What choices do we make in this post-corona world? What do these choices even consist of? For many of us, our certainties have been upended and clarity is in short supply. It’s in these circumstances that tarot can serve as both map and compass, helping us to name what is not clear and assisting in outlining a path ahead.  

    Tarot can orient and help us check out several possible paths and their likely outcomes.

    Thought to have originated in the Italian parlour game of il tarrochi (or in ancient Egypt, depending on sources) and to have been used for edification and self-discovery by such illustrious figures as psychiatrist Carl Jung and magician Aleister Crowley, the archetypes depicted in tarot still lend themselves to both psychological and magical interpretations today.

    In fact, it is in this confluence of factors – understanding the psychological origins of a situation and exploring how to best manifest a positive outcome – that tarot holds its greatest power.  

     

    Even pre-pandemic, tarot was undergoing something of a revival in the US and UK, as modern-day taroistas addressed today’s dilemmas with these ancient cards. Having read for clients at triyoga since 2018, I have witnessed this tarot revival as articles appeared in The Times, The New York Times, and on social media, as well as an explosion of new tarot decks coming to market. 

    So as we hurtle into this “new normal,” both the ancient and modern roots of tarot can help us gain clarity. 

    We can ask the cards questions about career, new life direction, family, and love.

    We can clarify what we are feeling ourselves or what someone else is likely to be feeling. We can explore possible outcomes of several paths and choose our actions accordingly.  

     

    A tarot reading can provide valuable information, elucidation of inklings just below the surface of consciousness, or clarify that our intuition is indeed correct. Tarot can also help clarify when ideas or plans need tweaking or further development, and help us hone in on timing of actions for maximum benefit.  

    And of course, when options are murky, asking the right questions of the tarot can define and clarify what our options actually are. As we head boldly into the “new normal,” the ancient art of tarot can help us navigate this uncharted personal and societal territory, providing modern clarity through the powerful archetypes of the cards. 

     

    Dana Mayer is a healing practitioner who has extensive knowledge of shamanic, energy healing, psychology and tarot. Dana has been working at the triyoga studios since 2018, if you would like to find out the questions that can be asked of the cards, see her full schedule at triyoga here.

    The post Gaining clarity whilst being in such short supply appeared first on triyoga.

  • Celebrating Pride, Father’s Day and my dad(s)
    18 June 2021

    With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, at Yogamatters we’ve been talking about father figures and how different these are for everyone.

    Father’s day can be a tough time for many people and the day can sometimes serve as a heavy reminder of a person or relationship you are missing. So while it’s great to celebrate the incredible fathers out there on this day, we want to recognise that role models and childhood heroes aren’t always the person we call dad. We want to celebrate all of the men in our lives; the father figures and mentors that have helped shape us.

    As June is also Pride month, it seemed fitting to share and celebrate two of my own personal role models, my dad and his husband.

    Rainbow families and role models

    I grew up in Denmark, which is overall a tolerant and openminded country and the first to recognise civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 1989. While things are still far from perfect there, it does mean that I’ve never truly been met with any real hate or prejudice for the way that my family looks. Sure, it leaves people a little stunned at first, but it is mostly just amusing to watch someone’s puzzled look when they realise my ‘stepdad’ is in fact married to my dad, and not to my mom. And that right there is where these two men become my role models. Because while I personally consider my life and my family completely ordinary, it is of course a little out of the norm and being extraordinary or different in any way, is not always easy.

    My dad and his husband are my role models because they choose to live their authentic lives, they choose love even when it is not easy and they continue to choose each other. And I don’t mean that they have in any way chosen their sexuality, because who we all authentically are is of course not a choice we make. No, I mean, that in all relationships there are times where walking away is easier than staying. There are times where you have to fight to get it right. And these two have over the past 10 years shown me that if you have something worth fighting for, you do the work and you show up for each other. 

    Even though they live in Denmark and not somewhere where they could be prosecuted for the way that they live and the love that they share, I still cannot begin to imagine having to always be the ones whose life is different from what everyone perceives as “normal” and I’m sure they’ve had their fair share of trials. But they stand by each other and watching them love each other the way that they do, brings me so much joy.

    In this way these two inspire me simply by living their extraordinarily ordinary lives. 

    Being an ally to LGTBQ+ people in your life

    While my story and to a large extent my dad’s story, are a testament to progress and to the absolutely “regular lives” that are lived by LGBTQ+ people and couples all over the world, filled with grocery shopping, gardening and waking up next to the person you love each morning, it’s important to remember that we’ve still got far to go.

    Pride is not all rainbows and parades, it’s a protest and a reminder that there are people still today being oppressed and shamed for simply being. I admire my dad(s) for something as simple as being with the person that they love, but in an ideal world it wouldn’t be admirable or extraordinary..

    At Yogamatters’ we’ve supported the charity “Just like Us” since we launched our pride socks back in 2019 and they do some incredible work to support especially young people in the LGBTQ+ community, to empower and educate for equality. 

    Had the pleasure of joining our Pride tribe for our photoshoot back in 2019. Yogamatters is donating £2 for each pair of socks sold to LGBTQ+ charity ‘Just Like Us’.

    This post is a testament to two of my role models, one of whom I happen to call dad. But this Father’s Day let us celebrate all of the foster fathers, fathers-to-be, father figures, childless fathers, step dads, dog dads and men that have simply inspired us.

     

     

    The post Celebrating Pride, Father’s Day and my dad(s) appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

  • From IVF to Fatherhood: the highs and lows
    18 June 2021

    This Father’s Day, we asked Max Gell if he wanted to share the story of his partner and his journey towards impending fatherhood with us. Theirs has not been straight forward and we are so excited for them and honoured he agreed to help us shed a light on infertility and IVF from a proud father-to-be’s point of view. And even more so, because Max’s partner is our very own Yogamatters Head of Product, Candice who is expecting (!!!)  Here’s his story below:

    Hi, my name is Max and I’m soon to be a dad.

    This is something that, especially over the last two years, I have dreamt of being able to write.

    The journey through IVF to fatherhood has been arduous and painful, full of frustration and torment and yet my relationship with my partner has never been stronger. The trope ‘what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger’, is certainly applicable here.

    Five years ago, we started trying to conceive naturally and of course this is the most romantic way of getting pregnant. I can assure you of that. When you finally suspect something is not quite working, panic starts to set in, and the fun is drained from the whole process. Stress is the biggest factor that we had to overcome, that and expectations, although they are intrinsically linked. When panic started to set in it became clear that we needed help, so we started talking to doctors and were eventually referred for IVF.

    As a male partner, you do not go through a tenth of the trauma your female partner does when it comes to infertility and IVF. Add all of the invasive tests and questions with the biological clock moving ever forward and you have a perfect recipe to place strain on your relationship.

    My focus was supporting my partner, Candice, the best way I could. I looked first at the common emotions that we share in this experience. We were both in pain (that we might not be able to conceive), frustration with others crept in, especially with our families and friendship groups becoming pregnant daily it seemed, almost by accident. Anger was an emotion readily available, aimed at each other or screamed into the ether when the pain got too much. These were all common experiences, shared and overcome with a squeeze of the hand, a few finely chosen words, or a sunrise walk to clear the cobwebs and start the day together in solidarity.

    And whilst I had grown as an individual and a partner during these incredibly difficult times, I was still yet to be a father.

    Fast forward five years later, a failed round of IUI, two rounds of IVF, a whole heap of vitamins, supplements, blood tests and hormone injections and we had six positive pregnancy tests laying proudly on the dining table. We were pregnant!!

    I suddenly felt the paternal pride I have witnessed from my father and countless other incredible men who I am lucky to call friends. ‘I’m going to be a dad’ I say to myself as the fear kicks in, followed by thrill and excitement and then immediately, back to that fear again. I presume that all expectant dads ask these questions of themselves. Will they be healthy?  How will I care for something so small and fragile?  Will they be proud to call me dad? Can I stop them from making the same mistakes I made? Will they be happy? How will my partner and I retain the love and connection that we share and most importantly, how the hell will we pay for two babies nappies? Oh, I didn’t say, we’re having twins!

    I’m taking this fatherhood thing very seriously and I have already upped my game. I feel more alive and connected to my partner with every day that passes. I’m inherently a jovial and relaxed character and this of course I would love my children to inherit but I would also love to be more organised and mature (I’m an actor and we can be a little lackadaisical at times).  So, the research and the planning, the painting and the DIY have all started early. I want to be ahead of the game so that when the time comes my partner and I are relaxed and ready.

    I genuinely can’t wait to be a parent, father and hopefully a grandfather someday. I’m emotional at the best of times and could easily cry during commercials given the right alchemy, so I’ve found myself daydreaming, my partner post birth with the twins in each arm, tears in my eyes at the joy of it all. I see the dads in the parks with kids jumping all over them and I long for the osteopath appointment after a day spent playing donkey. I really am ready for this, and it feels great to say that. I know this isn’t always the case. I am told five times a day by parent friends and those on podcasts that you can never truly be ready for a baby especially when there are two, but hey, I’m as ready as I will ever be! If the love I have right now for these pomegranates (that’s their size right now) is anything to go by, they will be alright.

    I consider myself extremely lucky to now be looking down the barrel of fatherhood with the hope that all the difficult struggles of conceiving are over and the hard yet rewarding duty of being a dad is in front of me, for the rest of my life!

    Thank you to my father, who strived to give me everything I needed and supported me, and in every way possible. Love to all the fathers out there, especially those that aren’t there or don’t know it yet!

     

    You can read Candice’s story about the journey with IVF that lead Max and her to this moment here. 

     

     

    The post From IVF to Fatherhood: the highs and lows appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

  • How to do yoga outside
    18 June 2021
    Taking yoga outside can give us a greater sense of connection to nature. Not only this, it can improve our breathing and wellbeing. Here are our 5 top tips for ensuring that yoga outdoors brings you the sense of connection you’re looking for.

    One of the nicest things about good weather is to take our yoga outside and feel like you’re truly connecting with nature.  Being outdoors can help reduce our blood pressure and boost our good mood. In one study in Mind, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. This is backed up by changes in the body. Research reveals that being outdoors lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone that is a marker for stress. Spending more time outdoors is also linked to higher levels of concentration, creativity, and improved mental clarity. And of course, after all this time indoors, a vitamin D boost not only boosts our moods but also improves our immune system and our bones. 

    It seems that taking our yoga outside is a no-brainer. Yoga already helps us to feel good and this is boosted by the benefits of being outside. A little bit of forward planning can mean that our outdoor yoga gives us everything we need.

    1. Safety First

    Yoga is often a heating practice.  You’ve most likely been drawn to practice outdoors due to good weather but it is important to find an area that is shaded and to remember to hydrate frequently and to use a reef safe sunscreen.  Make sure that the ground is suitable for practice.  Ensure that there are no stray twigs, branches or if you are in a public space, glass or other nasties. 

    2. Modify

    Yoga outside will require you to modify your practice. The ground will dictate what you might or might not be able to do. Too many vinyasas and downward dog on a soft surface could put extra pressure on your wrists and joints and a slope or uneven surface will draw your attention away from your breath. 

    Use what you find outdoors as a way to inspire your practice. Trees make great natural props to support your balancing poses and you may find that soft ground cushions your knees.  And being outdoors might be the perfect opportunity to ditch your mat or try some new moves. 

    Our course Outdoor Yoga offers ideas of classes that might inspire you including Dan Peppiatt’s Fun with Feral Movements or why not try an audio class? Joo Teoh has recorded some, especially to take outdoors such as Haven for the Heart.

    3. Breathing

    One of the most accessible practices outdoors is breathing. You can learn an easy pranayama technique and have a go under the shade of a tree or perhaps as you watch the waves ebb and flow.  You might have used a visualisation in a yoga class before, but a great way to tune into your breath is to simply allow your breath to follow the motion of the waves. Breath in and out for the same duration and notice as you naturally pause at both the top and bottom of the breath. Breathing out in nature has been shown to lower your blood pressure and boost your immunity, but avoid doing your breath practices near a busy road or traffic as air pollution will have the opposite effect.

    4.  Remember Nature

    When practicing yoga outdoors, nature offers you guidance and challenges. The first thing to remember is that you are a part of nature and not apart from nature.  Being outdoors is giving you an extra opportunity to notice what your body is telling you. When you are indoors you will have extra control of your environment. When you are outdoors, tune in to how your body is reacting to the change of routine but also to physical sensations.  Remember that you are a guest in the home of the birds, bugs and mini-beasts that you see all around you. Be mindful of how you can minimise your impact. Choose the space you practice in carefully and make sure that you are not using anything that can harm the environment like micro-plastics in your yoga mat or chemicals in your sunscreen.

    5. Mindful of Others 

    If you are doing yoga in a public space, be mindful of others and also of your own privacy.  Find an area that feels secluded and will let you be more present with your yoga practice. 

    The post How to do yoga outside appeared first on Movement for Modern Life Blog.

  • International Yoga Day 2021
    18 June 2021

    Dear Yogis!

    Monday June 21st is International Yoga Day. It came after a speech at the UN by Indian PM Narendra Modi in 2014. In that speech, and in subsequent speeches to mark the day, you can see the political hopes that yoga will help tackle issues of the world... issues being tackled by the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations! Well, they would say that!

    PM Modi said: “(W)e need to change our lifestyles. Energy not consumed is the cleanest energy. We can achieve the same level of development, prosperity and well-being without necessarily going down the path of reckless consumpti­­­­on. It doesn't mean that economies will suffer; it will mean that our economies will take on a different character. For us in India, respect for nature is an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature's bounties as sacred. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change”.

    No pressure when you get on the mat but look at what Amina J. Mohammed (Deputy Secretary-General) said two years ago on International day of Yoga: “The essence of yoga is 'balance', not just within us but also within our relationship with humanity, with the rest of the world. As such, yoga can promote solidarity, integration, tolerance, justice and peace. It teaches us a holistic vision of the world, encouraging us to live in harmony with ourselves, with society, and nature. This is of obvious relevance for our efforts to combat the intolerance that is so prevalent across our global landscape today. And it has a valuable contribution to making and addressing climate change, the defining issue of our time by inspiring us to shift away from the unsustainable practices towards inclusive green growth, conscious consumption, and much more sustainable lifestyles”.

    It’s the ultimate Think Local, Act Global!

    Zoom Classes 

    Well! Last week’s Friday Stretch was already more popular than Friday Ashtanga! This week already has more than last week. I think the 5.00pm slot helps too. We can do our Ashtanga practice together again in September. You can book today’s class or all classes here.

    Yoga in the news 

    iNews Euro 2020 has: England players relax in specialised hot yoga pods to help deal with heat of battle. ‘England’s performance staff have close links with the Rugby Football Union who recommended the yoga pods after taking them to Japan for the 2019 World Cup, where they reached the final and finished runners-up’!

    Newslaundry has: How a journalist devotee helped expose sexual abuse at Sivananda Yoga. In view of the allegations brought out by the documentary, Ishleen said, Sivananda Yoga has commissioned an independent investigation and reviewed and implemented safeguarding policies and training in the organisation.

    People.com has: Yoga Teacher Jessamyn Stanley Believes White Supremacy Has Polluted Yoga - and It's Time to Talk About It. “In fact, she says, yoga is not supposed to feel good. Take the example of someone expecting a Zen-like experience from a yoga practice - only to be disappointed. You're like, 'This is hard. Everyone else seems to know what they're doing. I am not good enough, I shouldn't be doing this, maybe my body is supposed to look different, maybe my life's supposed to be different.' All these feelings start to come up. That's what the postures are leading you towards, is to have that experience."

    Keep dry this weekend.

  • The Cheeky Yogi and her Scientific Experiments
    18 June 2021

    I am turning into a bit of a sleuth/scientist. So much so that I reckon I could give Sherlock Holmes and Marie Curie a run for their money.

    No longer able to read a single paragraph of a blog, book or report without double checking and cross referencing everything. I have taken my investigations even further. I experiment on myself where possible to see if the evidence presented is true.

    Dappy DNA v Genius DNA

    Most recently I have been pondering my theory that I have some ‘Dappy DNA’ in my system. Proof of this theory is:

    • Walking into a room and wondering why on earth I walked in there
    • Staring at someone whose name I’ve just said and then call them honey pumpkin because I can’t remember their name
    • Frantically hunting for glasses, which are located on my head.

    After more deliberation I have tweaked my hypothesis. I have ‘Genius DNA’ instead. My thesis is:

    • There are many thoughts in my head, each vitally and earth shatteringly important
    • They all are fighting to be expressed
    • Too many thoughts causes overcrowding of the cerebrum (cerebrum = one of the squidgy parts in the brain that does stuff).
    • Ergo (only a genius would use ‘Ergo’) the mundane and little insignificant thoughts get squashed out. They fall out of the head, in a similar process to the way gas falls out of your bum when you least expect it.
    Joining an Eskimo community

    Investigating ‘The anatomy of thought seepage’ as I have coined it, has led me to a podcast about Alzheimer’s Disease. The statistics scared the living daylights out of me. Alzheimer’s is the number one disease in the UK.

    My special Genius DNA, makes me think I could find a solution to this potential problem. However, despite my research, my partner put a stop to my imminent plans to move away from the UK and dodge the statistic of developing Alzheimer’s. His feeble excuse was that moving to either rural India or joining an Eskimo community wasn’t conducive to his career and life plans. I was left with no option but to explore other avenues of not succumbing to the potential threat of Alzheimer’s.

    Paleo v Vegan

    I bought a book instead. A 30day plan to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s. It gave a list of dos and don’ts. It is a “do eat blueberries, don’t eat meat” type of book, but doesn’t describe itself as a ‘diet book’.

    The last time I bought a similar ‘non diet book’, was when I was worried about heart disease and diabetes. I followed the Paleo diet. “Do eat meat, go easy on the blueberries”. My other half, who due to his carnivorous dosha has been nicknamed ‘the beast of prey’, was in heaven. He ignored the veggies on the plate, regarding them as mere garnish and chomped his way through entire herds. Breakfast was mini hamburgers, lunch was chicken and dinner was steak. Eventually, I found it got a little boring and succumbed to pizza, wine and chocolate as a staple meal instead.

    The Bean Challenge

    With the arrival of my new book came a whole new set of ingredients. The one thing that all these systems have in common is the cook from scratch factor, nothing processed and everything as natural as possible. I am half expecting to find a chapter on ‘how best to milk a goat and the art of udder tugging’ as they demand only the freshest produce. I have spent hours shop hopping for unpronounceable ingredients and even longer cooking dishes which the book claims takes only 20 minutes. 20 minutes my foot. Most things need to be soaked in asp’s milk for 40 days and 40 nights. By the time I have finished the grand preparations, everything looks and tastes the same.

    Can anyone really taste the difference between butter beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, haricot beans, mung beans and cannellini beans? I will give you my posh yoga mat if you can do the Pepsi challenge with beans.

    I really don’t want to be infantile, but ‘Beans, beans are good for your heart. The more eat the more you-‘ I mean, why would a yoga teacher (of all people) choose a diet high in nitrogen producing gas? Now we are finally back in the studios, I have the fear of sending everyone back onto Zoom as I walk about with a potbelly the size of a gallon of garbanzo beans. Thank goodness for social distancing and the need for ventilation is all I can say. I am on week 3 of what in essence is a vegan diet and for 3 weeks I have avoided happy baby pose, plough pose and wind relieving pose (obvs!)

    I have discovered: I don’t like tofu, whether in its slime form or rubber form. Quinoa is very versatile, but always tastes of cardboard. Sesame seeds sprinkled over food is pointless other than to make it look pretty. But it is still a dinner of rubber with hint of cardboard and pretty seeds on top. And only yesterday after nearly throwing up from my ‘3 bean and pea mush quinoa bowl’, I was told by a friend that nutritional yeast is not the same as normal yeast. How am I meant to know that? I just thought it was a little more ‘good for you yeast’.

    Sleuthing and sleeping

    My book isn’t just about food. It tells me I need to ‘exercise, sleep properly, have a purpose/passion in life and a community’. As I experiment with this new way of life, and in keeping with my sleuthing skills, I am double checking the science and facts. I want ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’.

    The next topic on the list dear Watson is sleep and I am becoming a bit of a sleep expert. Not because I am sleeping so much, quite the opposite. All of this healthy lifestyle is incredibly time consuming. I get up earlier and earlier to fit it all in. (Besides udders and teats yield more milk at the crack of dawn). Instead, my aim is to maximise the quality of sleep I get. I read that if you tape your mouth shut and breath exclusively through the nose, you get a deeper sleep and there for better rest in less time.

    Being a Guinea Pig

    My experimentation began in week one. Having pre-prepared the necessary equipment I went to bed. I waited for complete darkness and until I heard my partner snoring. I hunted for the duct tape I had hidden under my pillow. It is best he doesn’t know what I was planning, as I think he is on the verge of leaving me for a meat eating, sweet smelling Eskimo. But the sound of me struggling to tear off a strip of duct tape made him turn on the lights and ask what exactly did I have in mind. (To be honest, his phrasing was a little more like ‘what the @~#* are you doing?’) I am not sure whether it was relief or disappointment that crossed his face as I explained I wanted to tape my mouth shut, so I could produce more nitric oxide and have less wrinkles in the morning. He turned the light off and went back to sleep.

    As every great scientist will tell you, especially ones with Genius DNA, the early experiments are just that, early experiments. I can report that duct tape placed over the mouth during an 8 hour period does stop mouth breathing. It also removes the moustache hair and the first layer of skin, exposing the next layer which is indeed younger and smoother.

    Further experimentation

    Since this initial experiment, I have bought special sleep tape and now attach a small Hitler moustache type strip which keeps my lips closed at night. I do feel more rested and have noticed the wrinkles around my eyes have reduced. Though whether this is because of the production of the nitric oxide or the production of nitrogen from my bean feasts, I am yet to discover.

    My next experiment is based on a blog which suggested electric shocks might make you happier. I am currently in the process of dismantling and adapting the toaster and will report of my findings. It seems that this morning a new report has been published which stated that dairy is good for reducing heart disease. It looks as though I may have to read that chapter on udders after all.

    The post The Cheeky Yogi and her Scientific Experiments appeared first on The YogaLondon Blog.

  • The Place of Yoga in the Bhagavadgītā
    18 June 2021

    The Bhagavadgītā of the Mahābhārata is a post-Vedic text seeking to affirm Brahmanism. It achieves it through a revision of the religious and philosophical doctrines of its milieu. It is the first material to comprehensively promote worldly activity by adopting yoga—appropriated from ascetic-renunciatory settings. The modernised yogic methods and orientations, weaved into Vedic dharma, are the prime focus. This research examines their composition by relying on a selection of academic translations. Additionally, as the Bhagavadgītā laid a foundation for Yoga and Sāṃkhya of the post-epic period, the essay emphasises vocabulary retained by other classics.

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  • 5 Minute Meditation Script for Inner Peace and Harmony
    17 June 2021

    If you’re feeling tired and struggling to find energy for your day, here’s a simple 5-minute guided candle meditation for inner peace and harmony. It will reset your focus and inspire you with calm and confidence. 5-Minute Meditation For Inner Peace & Harmony Meditation is the perfect way to reduce stress and help you take […]

    The post 5 Minute Meditation Script for Inner Peace and Harmony appeared first on Yoga Inspires.

  • 5 Tips To Empower Your Practice
    17 June 2021
    “Sometimes having an advanced practice looks like using your voice to say no”. – Alexandria Crow

    We’ve lost yoga in the world of Instagram Handstands, Contortionists & Gymnasts. Achieving impossible backbends, splits and transitions have turned our practice into a way to torture ourselves. Your yoga practice can empower you to build acceptance in yourself. Today, we’ll give you five tips to nurture and empower your practice, so you can set yourself free from all the nonsense you see online. 

    1.  Learn to Say No

      No one gets prices at the end of the class. You don’t make it to the wall of fame for handstanding. And definitely, you’re not a better yogi for taking the most advanced variation of a pose.
      My point is that if a pose doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t feel nice, or you don’t fancy doing it; it’s okay.
      My teacher Jaime Clarke said once: ‘The only person that cares about your handstands is you. So, why do you care?’.
      Truth hurts. But it’s also freeing. Say no to yoga asanas you don’t want to do. It’s ok. Life moves on.

       

    2. Practice non-attachment

      Aparigraha is the last Yama in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Aparigraha means non-attachment, and sometimes we refer to it to speak about possessions. But we can practice aparigraha on the mat.
      Can we step on our mat without the need to perform? Can we just move, breathe and be in the moment? Accepting that yoga is not about achieving a pose, that some days you’ll feel like a ninja on the mat and others like an elephant in a China shop will empower your practice and feel more playful and free on the mat. We show up anyway. Because the practice is not about the outcome, it’s all about what we learn on the journey.

       

    3. Let go of the “Yoga Pose Hierarchy” Mindset

      Who says Savasana is easy and forearm stand is hard? Why is using a bind in extended side angle more advanced than not going for that option? Why do you “rest” in child pose but “hold” downward dog?
      You will often notice teachers using language like “just”, “simply”, “advanced”, “beginner”, “flexible enough”, etc. This can make some of us feel uncomfortable and left out. While I’m aware the industry is changing, you can empower yourself and completely ignore the hierarchy of poses. Because in general there are no better poses than others. We don’t need to look like someone on Instagram.
      Allow your practice to be yours.

       

    4. Be Your Own Teacher

      Yoga is there to serve YOU, not the other way around. No one better than you to assess if a yoga pose, variation, or style is not for you. You are most likely your wisest teacher.
      Trust that inner wisdom and feel free to explore your own variations, use props your way and acknowledge the signals your body sends you whenever you step on the mat.
      This will empower you to find freedom in your practice, and, after all, your practice is only yours.

       

    5. Ask Questions & Do Your Research

      Practice doesn’t end on the mat. There is SO MUCH you can learn about yoga. A great way of taking charge of your practice is to strive to learn more about your yoga practice by asking questions after class. Maybe finding workshops that match your interests. Find books and resources that help you show to the mat empowered and take your practice to the next level. 


    Practice from a place of non-competitiveness, non-judgment and no pressure is the only way to set yourself free. Transform your yoga practice from resistance and insecurity into empowerment. Allow yourself to truly be present and enjoy every second you’re on your mat. 

    About Anna De Sousa

    Anna is a London-based yoga teacher & Content Creator. After teaching yoga full-time for a couple of years, she joined the Digital Marketing team at MoreYoga to spread the word about wellness even further. Anna is fun and energetic, and she brings her warm personality to everything she does.

    The post 5 Tips To Empower Your Practice appeared first on MoreYoga.

Ashtanga Yoga blogs

Ashtanga Yoga Blogs

20 June 2021

Ashtanga Yoga Blogs Ashtanga Yoga Blogs
  • Namaste and Cultural Appropriation
    15 June 2021

    Yoga is an ancient practice, passed on from teacher to student over the millennia, and the tradition of yoga is kept alive by the students, people like you and me taking time to get on the mat and practice every day.

    The culture of yoga is essential to the student’s journey, and everyone who practices yoga is in debt of sorts to the practice itself. We owe it to ourselves and the future generation of yogis to protect and honor the culture and teachings, but while we’re practicing today in the modern world, we must do our best to respect the ancient culture of yoga and acknowledge the cultural appropriation that is happening within yoga.

    I talk today of the most obvious cultural appropriation I’ve seen – that of namaste. This word has been appropriated across the West on t-shirts, wine glasses, used as catcalls, and to sell mimosas at brunch. This appropriation completely leaves its true meaning behind, which is dangerous for the incoming generation of yoga practitioners who may not know any better. 

    To clarify: cultural appropriation is when the dominant group of society takes pieces from non-dominant cultures for their own use and ultimately profits from it in some way. With this in mind, I discuss the true meaning of namaste, its etymology, and how appropriation can dilute its impact on our yoga journey.

    As students of yoga, we must strive to find a balance, educate ourselves and those around us to respect culture without appropriating it for ulterior gains. We must move into a space of knowledge and not just practice. Yoga gives us the spiritual tools to move away from ignorance and into the truth, and it is through our practice that we can not only educate ourselves by helping teach others the true roots of the culture and the practice. 

    My advice to those of you listening and practicing now is to keep it up. Keep it up but remain humble in your practice. We are all indebted to those who practiced before us and shared their knowledge. Honor them by studying the history of yoga and meditation. Immerse yourself in the culture and learn as much as you can. It will only enhance your experience on the mat.

    Listen to my latest episode of the Yoga Inspiration podcast here.

    The post Namaste and Cultural Appropriation appeared first on Kino MacGregor.

  • Guide: Essential Questions to Ask About Yoga Teacher Training
    11 June 2021

    It’s a joy to have a live, in-person yoga teacher training on the schedule at Carolina Yoga Company! As part of my planning for this fall’s weekend-format YTT, I created a guide, “Essential Questions to Ask About Yoga Teacher Training.”

    This guide starts with questions I outline in The Professional Yoga Teacher’s Handbook and moves on to share answers specific to Carolina Yoga Company’s program. If you’d like to read it, pop your info in this form and I’ll send it right over!

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    I hope this guide is useful whether you’re considering a 200-hour yoga teacher training or a 300/500-hour one. Speaking of which, next week I will be opening registration for some wonderful advanced studies/continuing education workshops at CYC. Stay tuned!

    The post Guide: Essential Questions to Ask About Yoga Teacher Training appeared first on Sage Rountree.

  • May Athlete of the Month
    10 June 2021

    The post May Athlete of the Month appeared first on Yoga Athletex.

  • YouTube Yoga
    09 June 2021

    YouTube is amazing isn’t it?

    I’ve learned so much from watching things on there; how to hang a painting properly, change the brake-light bulb on my car, replace the fill-valve on my toilet, do a Turkish get-up, put a baby into a sling, replace the strap on my watch, get my dog to come back to me when I call him, and probably a hundred other things that I previously would have had to get somebody to teach me, or do for me, or else go to the library and hope they had a book on it. We all take it for granted now but it’s a pretty incredible resource. And it’s only 16 years old. When I finished college it didn’t even exist!

    As yoga students, we’ve been given access to a library of resources that, twenty years ago was incomprehensible. There are so many videos on there with tips, tricks, and advice on how to do almost anything you can think of.

    In one way, we have a huge advantage as yoga students in this day and age. We have access to probably tens of thousands of teachers in our own homes.

    But there is a problem and I’m just going to say it straight out.

    Most of the famous yoga teachers on YouTube and Instagram are freaks.

    That’s all. That’s the end of the moon day news for this week. I’ll leave you with that.

    No, of course, I need to explain that statement.

    There’s an amazing (to me at least) TED talk by David Epstein about how and why world records in athletics and other sports have been dropping consistently since modern records began. And there’s a very very interesting section of the talk (about 8 minutes in) in which he discusses how athletes physiques have become so specialised for their own particular sports. For example, swimming legend Michael Phelps (who is 6 foot, 4 inches) and long-distance running legend Hicham El Guerrouj (who is 5 foot, 9 inches) both have the same length legs. Long legs and a short torso are an advantage in long-distance running whereas short legs and a long torso are an advantage in swimming.

    That is to say that certain people are more naturally physically suited to doing certain things than others. And this is where the problem lies with yoga celebrities.

    When we see Michael Phelps swimming, Usain Bolt running, Michael Jordan jumping, Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling, or Brian O’Driscoll spinning out of a tackle, we don’t sit there and think that if we practice for a few years we’ll be just as good as they are. We know that they’re exceptional athletes and that people like that only come along once in a generation.

    But when we see people doing yoga on YouTube or Instagram we think that we’re supposed to be able to do what they’re doing and, if we can’t, we’re ‘bad at yoga’.

    Yoga practitioners who can do extraordinary things with their bodies are naturally the ones who will become well known on visual platforms like YouTube or Instagram and it is certainly inspiring to see what some people are capable of. But when you watch that video of Pattabhi Jois teaching Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Eddie Stern, Tim Miller, Richard Freeman and Karen Haberman it should feel more like you’re watching the Olympic Games rather than some sort of template for your own practice. The way those guys do the primary series is something that we can aspire to but expecting ourselves to be able to get to that level will, for almost all of us, lead to frustration, and maybe even injury.

    We have all been blessed with the bodies that we have. They are all different, and they are capable of different things. We should try our best to fulfil our own personal potential while absorbing lessons from as many masters as we can. We will never become somebody else and we will never be able to exactly replicate everything another person can do. We all have our own individual strengths, weaknesses, fears, traumas, history. Yoga can help with all of that but not if we’re trying to force ourselves into something that our body is not adapted for.

    So go slowly.

    Enjoy the postures.

    Enjoy the breath most of all.

    And be happy that we have found this ashtanga yoga practice. It should be used as a tool to improve our lives, not as a gauge of our self worth.

    The post YouTube Yoga first appeared on Ashtanga Yoga Shala.
  • Finding A Balance Between Studio And Home Practice
    04 June 2021

    As we transition from a time of isolation and distancing back to gathering as a community, it’s a good time to give some thought to the balance between alone time and community time in our practice. Having watched many students grow in their practice over the years and speaking from my experience in my own practice, I think the ideal for long-term sustainability of yoga practice is a balance between time spent connecting with others in practice and time spent practicing alone.

    When I first practiced in a city with a studio that offered Mysore classes, I also worked full time and left the house very early in the morning for work. So although that studio offered morning Mysore classes M-F, that wasn’t an option for me at the time. I was already at work when class started. My first Mysore teacher offered evening Mysore twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. So very early on I established a routine of seeing my teacher two evenings a week and practicing with the class. Then on the other days I established a habit of practicing on my own at home.

    There were benefits and challenges to both.

    Benefits of a teacher and community

    When I could be in class and practice with my teacher, she was there to help me direct my practice. She helped me understand the postures, she gave me guidance when I needed to modify a posture that wasn’t working in my body, and she gave me encouragement to keep going with practice, because Ashtanga can be challenging! There was benefit to practicing in community too. Although each student was working on their own individual practice, there was also a sense that we were supporting each other on that individual journey through our collective presence.

    Benefits of home practice

    But, practicing at home on my own also had benefits. My concentration was often deeper because there was very little to distract me — just me and my mat. I also learned to become more closely aware of the sensations in my body. When I knew no one else was watching, I became more accountable to myself for staying aware of how the practice felt. It was up to me to make small changes in a pose if something didn’t feel right.

    Practicing at home alone taught me how to practice from the inside out, by feel rather than by how I think something looks. When I practiced with a teacher I got feedback from someone more experienced than me as I was learning the practice. Practicing with the community of other Mysore students helped me feel like I was part of something larger than myself.

    Finding balance between studio and home practice

    When my first Mysore teachers stopped teaching, they introduced me to David Keil, who has been my teacher ever since. David knew the benefits of maintaining a balance between practice alone and practice with a teacher in community. To support students in finding that balance, he didn’t teach classes on an ongoing schedule. Instead he taught 5-day Mysore “weeks”. Small groups of students registered for a 5-day practice week and had the benefit of a teacher and community. When the week ended, they were empowered with a new understanding of their practice and ready to practice at home again, taking time to integrate what they learned from the week.

    Since my first 5-day Mysore week with David, that is how I practice. A couple times a year I practice with David and other students for five days in a row. I get guidance from David on specific aspects of my practice and support from the energy of the community. The rest of the time I practice on my own integrating what I’ve learned.

    Opportunities to practice balance

    With that in mind, you’ll see some changes to the schedule as we move forward with resuming in-person classes. In June we’ll be back to a M-F class schedule, but you’ll see that most months there will be a few days when classes in Asheville are cancelled. On those days I’ll be away, offering traveling 5-day Mysore weeks for groups of practitioners who don’t have a local teacher in their area. On those days, when there is no class here in Asheville, I encourage you to practice at home and enjoy all the benefits of solitude and home practice.

    If you are one of those practitioners who lives somewhere without a local teacher and would like to bring the teacher to you, get in touch! I’d love to talk with you about how I might be able to support your practice and local practice community.

    -Christine

    The post Finding A Balance Between Studio And Home Practice appeared first on The Mysore Room - Ashtanga Yoga Asheville.

  • What is Yoga for Athletes?
    03 June 2021

    The post What is Yoga for Athletes? appeared first on Yoga Athletex.

  • Low Back Pain – How to Strengthen the Low Back
    03 June 2021
  • 03 June 2021

    The Choice to Thrive “Do you teach at a yoga studio?” “I really loved it when you taught at XYZ Yoga Studio.” “Are you planning on teaching again at XYZ yoga studio?” Dear Yoga Student,  I know these questions  come from a well intentioned place. I know that the studio was convenient for you. I know that you don’t understand that sometimes, I taught 2 hours of Mysore style Ashtanga for under $10. I know that you don’t understand that most of your monthly membership went to pay for the overhead of the yoga studio and not to me. I know you don’t understand that the average yoga teacher in my area gets paid around $25 to $30 per class which is roughly around 10-15% of the money the studio collected for the class. The other 90% goes to all the amenities you love and the convenient location.  I know that you don’t understand how teaching and doing assists for hours wreaks havoc on my body. Maybe you don’t understand that I sometimes traveled 2 hours to be with you or that sometimes I had to get up at 4:30AM to an empty room because you decided that you wanted to sleep in that morning. I am sure that you don’t know that I was expected to prioritize cleaning the yoga studio toilets for $25 over a lucrative $200 teaching gig or a $75 private. You probably don’t know that , when I raised objections about this , I was painted out as acting as if I was too good to clean the toilets when all I was trying to do is have yearly wages above the poverty level. You probably don’t know that the studio took 40% of the money you paid for your workshop. You probably don’t know that I was being asked to choose the yoga studio’s financial health over the financial health of myself.  You also don’t know that I chose to leave yoga communities that I loved because I needed to choose myself.  Dear student, let me educate you. When I teach outside of a yoga studio, I make sometimes 6x the amount of money per class.  This means that I can choose to work less which means that I can spend energy on my own practice, my study  and my family. It means less injuries, more sleep, less wear and tear on my car and less damage to the environment from the daily commute.  When I started working for myself, my income doubled in 6 months. I could afford to further my education and become a better teacher for you.  Dear student, This is just the financial aspect. This does not even touch on my experience of being a Black teacher within White dominated spaces or how horrible I felt teaching appropriated watered down practices that were as far away from yoga as Pluto is from Earth. Dear student, I hope that when you read this, you will understand. That you will be okay with practicing with me in alternative spaces and online. I am not saying that I will never teach in a studio again. I love community and the feeling of coming together for a common goal. However, as long as I am asked to give up myself, appropriate & colonize yoga, ignore racial disparities and privilege and be broke for a spot on someone’s roster, I will continue to choose me. P. S. Let me go ahead and address all the folks who may read this and comment on yoga and money not going together or to get a job.  I live and breathe yoga. It is not a hobby. I not only do asana daily, but I meditate and study the scriptures. I would love to live in a world where I have boundless energy and where love and light paid the bills. I would love to live in a world where I could take trainings for free and practice with my teachers for free, fly to India for free, get yogic texts for free etc. The yogis didn’t live in that world either.  While some teachers did not get paid, the community took care of the teachers so that they didn’t need to get paid.  While some communities still do, that largely disappeared during British colonization.  Also, the yoga industry has plenty of money. It is a 27 billion dollar industry. Why should that money go to companies that make leggings instead of going to the teachers? Why can’t we practice in humble yoga spaces so that our teacher can eat? Why are fancy showers more important to you than human’s thriving? P. S.S Before a yoga studio owner comes for me, I know you are not a millionaire. However, intent does not equal impact. There are plenty yoga studio owners that I love dearly, however, they are not immune from taking responsibility for their impact. None of us are.

    The post appeared first on Ashtanga Yoga Project.

  • Registration Open: Roots and Wings—Fundamentals and Next Steps
    02 June 2021
    with Christine Veit and Sage Rountree SIX WEDNESDAYS, JUNE 23–JULY 28, 6:30–7:45 P.M., AT CARRBORO YOGA COMPANY
    Christine

    Root yourself in the basics of yoga while learning to fly free in any yoga class. This friendly six-week small-group series puts the fun in fundamentals while encouraging you to leave the nest and explore all our studio offerings.

    Our weekly meetings will help you send down deep roots as we:

    • Demystify what happens in a yoga class from welcome to namaste
    • Apply yoga philosophy in simple language
    • Make you a master with yoga props
    • Troubleshoot problem poses
    • Identify the right yoga for you
    • And, of course, answer all your questions!
    Sage

    You will also grow wings with:

    • Follow-up notes after every Wednesday session
    • Doable homework exercises keyed to our textbook, Everyday Yoga, so that you can practice what you’ve learned
    • A six-week unlimited membership that starts on the day of our first meeting
    • Suggestions for studio classes to attend to enhance your work in our small-group setting
    • A full sense of yoga’s role in your life and a group of new yoga friends!

    Bring a humble heart, an open mind, and your body just as it is. We will guide you to a deeply rooted sense of connection and a free-flying, lifelong love of yoga.

    To ensure the optimal experience for everyone, we have a maximum of 12 students. Space is filling quickly. Sign up today to ensure your spot is secure!

    Sign up here!

    FAQs

    Q: Am I too old/out of shape for this series? Alternatively, am I too young/experienced at yoga to learn more?

    A: No! This series is perfect for everyone, and we will all support you wherever you are in your life journey and yoga journey. The whole group will develop better connection and understanding of yoga as we learn how to adapt the poses for everyone.

    Q: If I already have a membership, can I still sign up?

    A: Absolutely! This is a wonderful enhancement to your existing practice. You can register for Roots and Wings now and we will happily put a hold on your existing membership during the six weeks of the series.

    Q: What if I miss a session during my summer vacation?

    A: You’ll still be able to follow along with the post-class notes. While we don’t offer make-ups, the series is such a good deal that you’ll get tons of value even if you must miss a session or two.

    BOOK NOW

    The post Registration Open: Roots and Wings—Fundamentals and Next Steps appeared first on Sage Rountree.

  • Friday Heart Wide Open Yoga Class
    01 June 2021

    Today is a day when we let go of all of the past and are open to the possibility of the future in the NOW.

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Yoga

Yoga Blogs

20 June 2021

Yoga Blogs Yoga Blogs
  • Yoga and the Pathological Need for Speed
    20 June 2021
    I think it was sometime in the mid-2000s when I started to have this sinking feeling that life was increasingly speeding up out of my control. I could blame it on being busy with work or having a baby. I could blame it on my need to feel like I was accomplishing things or on having too many social...
  • Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles Shares One Of The Secrets To Her Success
    19 June 2021
    Community is key.
  • The Summer Solstice: What It Is and How to Celebrate This Special Time of Year
    19 June 2021

    The summer solstice marks the first official day of summer. On June 20th each year, the sun will reach its peak in the sky (in the Northern Hemisphere), creating the longest day and shortest night that we will experience all year.

    Throughout history, humans across cultures, continents, and religions have celebrated the winter and summer solstices, as well as the spring and autumn equinoxes.

    These 4 celestial events mark the beginning and ending of cycles – and encourage us to connect with the rhythm of nature and flow with the changing energy of the seasons.

    Read on to learn what the summer solstice is, how it influences you, and why you should celebrate this magical time of year.
     
     

    The Summer Solstice: Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

    Most of us have heard the term “Summer Solstice” but many people aren’t sure what it means or entails. Here’s your guide to what this special time of year represents, ushers in, and more fun facts so you can celebrate it with a deeper sense of understanding.
     

    First – What Exactly Is the Summer Solstice?

    Solstice means the “standing of the sun” from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

    Twice a year, in winter and summer, the sun gives the illusion of standing still in the sky (from Earth). It peaks at the highest point in summer and the lowest point in winter.

    After the summer solstice, the sun begins its descent – the days become shorter and the nights longer – in the perpetual cycle of the seasons.
     

    What Does the Summer Solstice Actually Mean?

    At both times of the year, the solstice is a celebration of light, life, and the completion/beginning of a cycle.

    These astrological events correspond with our own natural rhythm and the rhythm of nature. The winter solstice marks the return of light from the “longest night” of winter – and the summer solstice marks the culmination of light and the most energetic time of year.
     

    During this time, the sun brings high energy, light, and warmth into our lives.

     

    There are many traditions, rituals, and ceremonies to celebrate, honor, and harness the energy of the sun. Historically, this helped people connect deeply with nature and better understand the influence the world around us has on the world within us.
     

    How Does the Summer Solstice Impact Me?

    Everything in the universe is made of energy. Just as the flowers bloom in spring and leaves die in autumn, we also flow with the cycles of life and death in nature.

    Throughout our spiritual journey, there are peaks and valleys that we must navigate. Connecting with the power of the sun can help us better understand this ebb and flow, and learn how to work with it, rather than resist it.
     

    The only constant in the universe is change, and embracing the change – within and around us – will allow us to be rooted as we flow.

     
    The solstice is a way to reconnect with, and honor, the path that you’re on. It is a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and consider what you wish to accomplish in the future. This is also a time of heightened energy as we experience the longest day of the year – filling us with more sunlight than normal.

    Honoring the summer solstice with ceremony, ritual, or yoga can help us energize and harness the palpable energy of the sun. This creates intimacy with nature that has been all but lost in the modern world.

    And while many rituals and traditions honoring the changing of the seasons have been lost in time, we can still create our own personal magic during these times.
     

    Here’s How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

    The intentional and devotional movement of yoga is a wonderful way to honor, celebrate, and connect with the energy of the summer solstice. You can set an intention at the beginning of your practice to help you connect more deeply with this energy and what you’d like to manifest or cultivate more of in your life.

    Doing 108 Sun Salutations on the summer solstice is a traditional practice to activate the sun’s energy and honor the rhythm of nature. At dawn on the morning on the summer solstice, face east and dive right in!

    Read 6 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice for tips on how to amplify this palpable energy.
     
     

    Summer Solstice: The Takeaway on the Longest Day of the Year

    The influence of the sun in our lives is an ancient truth that has always been recognized as a powerful experience – unique to living on planet Earth (to the best of our knowledge).

    This life-giving force affects everything around us and within us, and by taking the time to connect with that energy, you can better understand your inner and outer worlds.

    The post The Summer Solstice: What It Is and How to Celebrate This Special Time of Year appeared first on YogiApproved™.

  • This Week Will Bring Glamorous New Beginnings, According To Astrologers
    19 June 2021
    Here's your horoscope, from the AstroTwins.
  • 5 Days to Master the Law of Attraction
    19 June 2021

    Have you ever thought about getting a new car and then started seeing that type of car everywhere you go? Perhaps you have found yourself thinking a lot about a friend only to run into them later in the grocery store.

    There is a saying you may be familiar with that goes, where your attention goes, energy flows. It means that what you focus your attention on is manifested into your experience.

    This universal law is called the law of attraction. The law of attraction is always at work, whether you know it or not.

    It isn’t something that gets activated once you learn about it, it is a law that has been bringing you things, people and situations that match your energy from your very first day of life.
     
     

    Get the Universe on Your Side: 5 Days to Master The Law of Attraction

    So the question is, are you ready to start using it to your advantage? If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place!

    Keep reading to find a 5-day guide to getting the universe on your side and mastering the law of attraction.
     

     
     

    Day 1: Pay Attention to How You Feel

    On this very first day of putting the law of attraction to work, take note of how you are feeling, and do it all day long.

    Why? Because the way we feel matters the most when it comes to attracting things into our human experience, more than anything else. When we feel good and our vibes are up, we are much more positive, friendly and optimistic.

    Therefore, the Universe matches our energy and delivers more of the stuff we want in our lives: nice people, cool things and good experiences.

    But when we feel crappy, we are more likely to complain, be reactive to others or feel annoyed and frustrated with our daily experiences.
     

    Your feelings are like a law of attraction barometer.

     
    This, of course, draws more things to us that we just don’t want: traffic jams, whining kids, burnt dinners and annoying co-workers. Your feelings are like a law of attraction barometer.

    Check in with how you feel and you will know exactly where you stand with the Universe. Bad feelings attract bad stuff, good feelings attract good stuff.

    It’s as simple (and complicated!) as that. Before you take any other steps towards getting the Universe on our side, you absolutely MUST learn to pay attention to the way you feel.

    13 Ways to Tell If You Are Emotionally Healthy (And How to Get There If You Answered No)
     

    Day 2: Check In With Your Mindset

    You wake up grumpy, tired and annoyed at the responsibilities that lie ahead of you, burn your breakfast and spill your coffee, get into a fight with your partner or your kids (or both!) on the way out the door, only to find yourself stuck in traffic and late for an important meeting?

    Does this scenario sound familiar? That’s the law of attraction at work!

    The vibe you have at any given moment attracts what comes next. Something as small as waking up grumpy can end up attracting a pretty shitty day! So what can you do to make sure you start with a high vibe and some good energy? Smile, for starters.

    As soon as you open your eyes, smile big, take a deep breath, and immediately think of something pleasant.

    This bed is so comfortable. The sun filling up my room is beautiful. The sound of the birds is relaxing.

    Try to avoid the complaints that seem to come so naturally.

    I’m exhausted, I can’t believe I have to get out of bed.

    And if you DO catch yourself starting off with those all too familiar complaints (trust me, it will happen,) just switch directions. What feels GOOD? Focus on that, instead.

    My muscles feel relaxed. My body feels strong. I am ready for a new day!

    Make the effort to start your day off with some good energy, and watch how your vibe attracts some pretty sweet stuff for the rest of your day.
     

     
     

    Day 3: Do Three Things That Make You Feel Good

    If it’s all about how you feel, then let’s make sure to do some things that make you feel groovy today!

    Forgetting your daily responsibilities and going back to bed may not be realistic, but how about getting a cup of joe at your fave coffee shop, going for a walk, or calling a good friend?
     

    The law of attraction is always at work, whether you know it or not.

     
    Maybe all it takes to feel good is putting on some upbeat tunes and having a dance party in your living room. When you’re working on your mindset, especially in the beginning, starting small is key.

    Pick three small, easy to accomplish things that will make your spirit soar.
     

    Day 4: Practice Gratitude

    According to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, gratitude is the foundation for all abundance. If we want to use the law of attraction to draw more of something into our lives, such as love or money, then we need to be grateful for the love and money we see all around us.

    You may not have as much of it as you want, or in the form that you would like to have it, but if you take a good look around you will see where it is already present in your life, and that’s where you want to focus your energy.
     

    Gratitude is the foundation for all abundance.

     
    If it’s love you desire, be grateful for the love you share with your child, your mother, your dog. Be grateful for the love you witness between strangers.

    If it’s money you need more of, start practicing gratitude for the money you do have in your bank account, however large or small it may be. Be grateful for the money you have to pay for your rent, your car, your food.

    Abundance abounds, and when you allow yourself to be grateful for it, you’re letting the Universe know that you’re now a match for some of that sweet stuff! Develop an attitude of gratitude and watch the good come flowing in.
     

    Day 5: Start Using Affirmations

    Positive affirmations, or mantras, are one of my favorite law of attraction tools. Our words are powerful. They have a huge impact on our overall mood and vibe, which you now know is what attracts things to you, so let’s choose those words carefully, shall we?

    Begin placing positive affirmations all around your house: use dry erase markers on mirrors, place notecards on your night stand, set reminders on your phone.

    Put some optimistic messages out there that you can repeat to yourself daily to get into the habit of speaking in a positive manner.
     

    Want to Harness the Power of Affirmations for a Healthy Mindset? Try Mantra Mindset!

    Join inspirational powerhouse Youmie Jean Francois in her one-of-a-kind online program, Mantra Mindset, on YA Classes by YogiApproved! In this 5-class series, Youmie will guide you through powerful mantras to boost your self-assurance and empower your mindset.

    With Youmie Jean Francois
    5 Classes | All Levels

    You can begin with affirmations like today will be a great day, or I am good enough. You can use affirmations that are specific to what you want, such as my bank account grows bigger and bigger, or the love of my life is on the way.

    Just be careful you aren’t repeating phrases that you don’t believe to be true. When that happens, you’re sending mixed messages to the Universe that can be confusing and put you at a standstill with manifesting your desires.

    Try to be as general as possible. If you say to yourself, “I have a million dollars” and then immediately think yeah right … then that’s not the affirmation for you. It’s easiest to get behind general affirmations such as money is constantly making its way to me.
     
     

    An Abundance Mindset Is the Key to Understanding the Law of Attraction

    Small changes each day will help to shift your mood, your energy and your mindset towards one of positivity and abundance.

    By putting these practices into place you are well on your way to seeing how the law of attraction works, and getting the Universe on your side. Happy manifesting!

    The post 5 Days to Master the Law of Attraction appeared first on YogiApproved™.

  • What It Really Means To Have An “Inferiority Complex" + Signs To Look For
    19 June 2021
    Sometimes insecurities run deeper.
  • A Yoga Sequence to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
    19 June 2021

    These uplifting, balancing poses are perfect for honoring the longest, lightest day of the year.

    The post A Yoga Sequence to Celebrate the Summer Solstice appeared first on Yoga Journal.

  • Energy Healing with Donna Eden
    19 June 2021

    On this episode of the Yoga Show, host Lindsay Tucker and Donna Eden, author and founder of Eden Energy Medicine, talk all about healing.

    The post Energy Healing with Donna Eden appeared first on Yoga Journal.

  • These 9 All-Star Mascaras Won't Irritate Sensitive Eyes
    19 June 2021
    So what are you to do if your eyes don’t agree with mascara—but you personally love it? Book mark this page.
  • Jump Rope vs. Running: Which Type Of Workout Is Better For You?
    19 June 2021
    We asked the experts.

Indian Yoga blogs

Indian Yoga Blogs

20 June 2021

Indian Yoga Blogs Indian Yoga Blogs
  • Natural Ways to Treat Heartburn – Yoga to Treat Acidity
    19 June 2021

    Heartburn or what we call acidity is a common issue for so many of us. It is that discomfort or burning sensation felt in the chest, stomach, neck and upper arm region. Most people may experience occasional or mild episodes, with increase seen during pregnancy or when on certain medications. Since acidity is so common, my students and others often ask me about specific yoga positions and aasans that will help control acidity. It is, in fact, quite possible to manage acidity and control it naturally by making some small lifestyle changes and practicing some specific yoga aasans.

    Natural solutions for acidity

    Discomfort from acidity happens when there is a gastric reflux, which is when the stomach acids travel up into the food pipe. Not only is this uncomfortable and painful, it is also seen to cause other problems and reduce quality of life. Having smaller, more frequent meals rather than large meals is seen to help. It also helps not to lie down immediately after a meal and to finish dinner several hours before going to bed. Also avoid tight clothing that could put pressure on the abdomen.

    Reducing the amount of oil and spices in one’s diet will also help to control severity of acidity. Smoking and alcohol can also exacerbate the problem, which is something else to keep in mind. Ginger is a great natural solution for acidity – soup, tea, salad or a stir-fry are good ways to add more ginger to the diet. Adding more fiber/roughage to the diet is also seen to reduce severity of acidity.

    Yoga poses to control acidity

    Acidity can be exacerbated by stress, so doing meditation and using other relaxation techniques can help the overall situation. In addition, some of these poses help reduce severity and frequency of episodes.

    Dhanurasan or the bow pose helps to massage the abdomen and the intestines, stimulating the digestive system. It helps to stimulate a digestive system that is sluggish and will improve the process of breakdown of food and elimination of waste.

    Bhujangasan or the cobra pose also stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles and digestive organs of the body. This aasan is also seen to improve overall immunity.

    Makarasan or the crocodile pose is recommended by many orthopedics for good spinal health. It is also good for controlling acidity in my experience because of the way that it stimulates the abdomen and the digestive organs.

    Paschimotanasan of the forward bend pose can also help to control acidity. This again stimulates the digestive processes and is also seen to ease menstrual pain in many cases.

    Yoga mudra consists of certain hand gestures, pressing together of the finger tips and so on. It is a concept similar to acupressure. Yoga mudras enhances energy flow through the body, and some are also seen to aid digestion.

    Abdominal breathing and Pranayama – In one study, abdominal breathing wasseen to help reduce acidity issues and also reduce reliance upon medications. Those who learned breathing exercises reduced frequency and dosages. We have also seen that Kapalbhati, Sheetali pranayama and Sheetkari pranayama are helpful in proper oxygenation of the body’s organs. These pranayama techniques help digestive organs function more efficiently and reduce instances of acidity.

    The post Natural Ways to Treat Heartburn – Yoga to Treat Acidity appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • IYD2021: Special Yoga Session for Students From 7 Universities – June 18, 2021
    18 June 2021

    I just finished an amazing online session on Yoga for Health and Wellness in these uncertain times for over 200 students from seven Indian universities, including BITS Pilani. This was to celebrate the 7th International Day of Yoga. It was an energetic session with the students bringing in their boundless enthusiasm.

    Here are some snapshots from the event…

    The post IYD2021: Special Yoga Session for Students From 7 Universities – June 18, 2021 appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • IYD2021: Special Pranayam Session for 600 Infosys Employees – June 17, 2021
    18 June 2021

    Just completed an awesome Pranayam session taken for over 600 Infosys employees to celebrate the International day of Yoga 2021. The focus was on breathing exercises and Pranayam to help in the current COVID situation. This was conducted for AyurYoga Life Institute. Everyone appreciated the session and found it extremely helpful.

    Check it out…

    The post IYD2021: Special Pranayam Session for 600 Infosys Employees – June 17, 2021 appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • Special Yoga & Meditation Session for Infosys Employees – June 9, 2021
    18 June 2021

    Just completed a special yoga session taken for AyurYoga Life Institute for Infosys employees on the topic “Yoga and Meditation for Emotional and Mental Health.”

    The image below is representative of our life right now, speaking to a bunch of boxes rather than real people, and it underlines the need for a session like this one.

    The post Special Yoga & Meditation Session for Infosys Employees – June 9, 2021 appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • IYD2021: Special Yoga Session for Officers & Staff Members of CCRAS – June 8, 2021
    18 June 2021

    Today I had the privilege of conducting a special yoga session through The Yoga Institute, Santa Cruz East, for the officers and staff members of CCRAS (Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences), an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH. This was in celebration of the upcoming 7th International Day of Yoga.

    Here are some snapshots from the online event…

    The post IYD2021: Special Yoga Session for Officers & Staff Members of CCRAS – June 8, 2021 appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • Special Yoga Session for BNP Paribas Bank Employees – June 5, 2021
    18 June 2021

    I had the privilege of conducting a live session from The Yoga Institute, Santa Cruz East, for employees of BNP Paribas on the topic “Yoga For Better Sleep.” The session well received and highly appreciated.

    Check out this studio picture!

    The post Special Yoga Session for BNP Paribas Bank Employees – June 5, 2021 appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • The Benefits of Utkatasan or Chair Pose
    18 June 2021

    This is one of the deceptively simple poses of yoga – utkatasan or the chair pose. It looks simple to do but is much less so than it looks – it requires strength, stability and practice to do properly. It is also known to have a number of benefits. Let’s find out today how to perform this yoga pose and why:

    How to perform Utkatasan

    This pose belongs to the hatha yoga tradition and was popularised by Krishnamacharya, the Ayurvedic healer and scholar also known as the Father of modern yoga. The word utkat means fierce or wild or big. As such this aasan is known as the fierce or scary aasan or as the Chair Pose. It is a standing squat pose that is performed with the hands raised up above the head and is a part of the Surya Namaskar sequence.

    To perform utkatasan, keep your knees apart to the width of your hips with the feet firmly planted on the ground. Raise the hands up and above the head, palms facing each other. At the same time, bend the knees with the hips going back and the chest coming forward – much in the same way as if you’re about to sit down on a chair. Hold the pose for several breaths to feel how many muscles are involved in performing this pose.

    A variation of this pose is the Utkata Konasana or Goddess Pose. Here the legs are placed wide apart with the knees facing outward. The arms are then bent over the head and then stretched outward. The Parivritta Utkatasana is another variation where the feet are placed hip width apart and then hinging at the hips, the torso is brought parallel to the ground while twisting sideways. The palms are joined with the face looking upward toward the ceiling.

    Benefits of Utkatasan

    Utkatasan is a foundational pose for helping the body build endurance and increase strength. This pose exercises and strengthens the knees, ankles, thighs and lower back while also working the shoulders and lengthening the spine. It improves overall stamina and builds core strength. It is also thought to help those with flat feet. Since this pose also involves the abdominal muscles, it also helps improve digestive processes.

    This pose is not recommended for people prone to headaches, low blood pressure or insomnia. Students of yoga can find it difficult to master this pose to begin with. However, over time and with practice they find that there are so many benefits of utkatasan, that they persevere and make it a point to do this as a part of their yoga routine.

    The post The Benefits of Utkatasan or Chair Pose appeared first on Yoga Classes in Bandra & Khar, Mumbai - Yoga Central.

  • Kapalbhati – A Sanjeevani Pranayama
    16 June 2021
    Swami Vivekananda used to say – “A healthy body is a prerequisite for a healthy mind”. Yoga is a practice done since ancient times, which not only relaxes the human body but also calms the mind. We just need to breathe well to stay young and live healthy forever. Do you want to lose weight …
  • Benefits of Chair Pose Utkatasana
    14 June 2021
    Chair Pose Utkatasana

    The very first thing we need to keep in mind before reading or practicing this asana is its meaning and it’s definition. So Utkatasana is taken from sanskrit word ut meaning ‘raised’ and kata refers to ‘hips’. This asana is also a balancing posture. The posture is basically defined as as utkatasana because while doing thisasana, the hips are kept raised.

    These are the following steps on how to perform Utkatasana. Here it goes: First begin with standing erect and place both of your feet firmly on the floor. 

    How to Do Chair Pose
    • Make sure the distance between the feet is relaxed and comfortable, widen it about 8-12 inches.
    • Now raise your arms infront, up to yourshoulder level and also your palms should be facing downward.
    • Standing on the toes raise your both the heels up and try sitting slowly on your toes. Your hands must be placed on both your respective knees. You need to maintain this position upto 5-10 seconds.
      The method for releasing this pose are as follows:
    • Try balancing your body by keeping your arms on the floor. 
    • Keep the balance and maintain now you may slowly try standing erect on your toes raising your both arms infront of you, up to yourshoulder level.
    • Continue by placing your heels on the floor. You have to bring your hands by the side of your thighs and bring your feet together.
    • Lastly, stand erect by bringing your both the feet firmly on the floor. 

    Another main thing you need to follow while doing this asana is it’s do’s and don’ts. 

    do’s and don’ts chair pose Chair Pose Utkatasana do’s

    Lets start by talking about it’s do’s first:

    • You must fully maintain your balance while taking and releasing the posture. 
    • When you come down to the end or final posture make sure your upper part of your body remains erect. 
    • Also in the final posture your weight should be fully stretched by hamstring muscles.

    Chair Pose Utkatasana don’ts

    Now comes the don’ts which you must keep in mind in order to not hurt yourself or get injured while performing this asana:

    • First thing to remember is that you must not put your body weight on your heels. 
    • And secondly remember you don’t bend forward while doing this asana. 
    10 Health Benefits of Chair Pose Utkatasana

    Now let’s talk about the benefits you will surely receive if you practice this asana on a regular basis: If you remember the benefits of all asanas which you practice then chances are highly that your focus on practicing them becomes more intense and you will enjoy it too. So coming back to the benefits of Utkatasana let’s begin.

    • This asana is likely to enhance the mobility of your knee joints, ankle joints and also your hip joints.
    • Another benefits is that this asana also helps you to strengthen the muscles of your legs including your hamstrings and calf muscles, your arms, biceps and your shoulder, also your pelvis and your lower back.
    • This asana helps in reducing the fat in your belly and hip joints and helps in giving a good shape or maintaining your figure.
    • This is also very good for you to practice if you suffer from low self-esteem. 
    • It helps in improving the functions of your digestive system. 
    • Tones the leg muscles excellently
    • Strengthens hip flexors, ankles, calves, and back
    • Stretches chest and shoulders
    • Reduces symptoms of flat feet
    • Stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs
    Spiritual benefits of Chair Pose Utkatasana
    • It helps to gain mental focus
    • Balancing the mind and thoughts becomes easy with the practice of this pose
    • Good for those who sit for meditation as the spine is kept straight during the practice
    • Chair Pose balances the bottom three chakras, the Root Chakra (Muladhara), Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana), and Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura). This posture helps ground and root the practitioner into the present moment and physical body, while also allowing him/her to feel more connectivity and empowerment.
    limitation of Chair Pose Utkatasana
    • The most important thing which needs to be discussed in the end is the limitation or time period of practicing this asana because too much or too less is also not healthy for anyone to practice any yoga asanas every practice should be in limit. 
    • So for people who is suffering or complain of having reeling sensations should not even think of practising this asana. 
    • For other people who has severe problem of knee joints pain and ankle joints pain who suffers from stiffness on a regular basis should avoid doing this asana. 

    If you are looking to bring a change into your life by learning yoga for self-rejuvenation or transfer the benefits to others, by getting a professional certificate and expertise, then Arogya Yoga School is the perfect fit for you. Hurry up limited seats are available – Book Now

    The post Benefits of Chair Pose Utkatasana appeared first on Yoga in Rishikesh.

  • 9 Types of Thyroid tests | Easy Thyroid test at Home |
    13 June 2021

    Thyroid test is a medical test to check the secretion level of thyroid hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). TSH hormone release by Pituitary gland and T3 & T4 hormone release by Thyroid gland. By Thyroid test results chart we know that t3, t4 & tsh hormone are in normal range Read more about 9 Types of Thyroid tests | Easy Thyroid test at Home |[…]

    The post 9 Types of Thyroid tests | Easy Thyroid test at Home | appeared first on FitYog.

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